As a lifelong vegetarian, I’m always on the lookout for a good veggie burger recipe.
This is my first attempt at creating one from scratch. Like most of my kitchen experiments, this one happened on a whim, with ingredients I already had on hand: after noticing a box of baby bella mushrooms and a large pack of basil sitting in my fridge, unopened, I decided to make them the centerpiece of a simple veggie burger recipe. The mushrooms give these patties a delicious, smoky, umami flavor. My husband, a diehard carnivore, said they reminded him of beef burgers. I sauted the patties in olive oil and served them on homemade pretzel rolls, which I made using an excellent recipe from Chowhound, along with a few slices of avocado.
10 ounces baby bella mushrooms (around 3 cups), roughly chopped
2 cups oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons basil
2 cloves garlic
Note: basil adds a delicious flavor, but feel free to experiment with using oregano, mint, thyme, and other fresh herbs. If you can’t find baby bella mushrooms, try substituting any mushroom of your choice.
Place mushrooms and garlic in the bowl of food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs, and combine until smooth. Add egg and then oats, pulsing until well-combined.
To shape the patties, scoop a mound of batter and flatten it in the palm of your hands until about ⅛-¼ inch thick. Cover the bottom of a pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil, and heat on a medium-high burner. Cook the patties, a few at a time, until crisp and golden brown, about five minutes on each side.
Store remaining patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days, or in the freezer for longer.
Liana’s Kitchen is a column by Astoria-based chef and foodie Liana Grey. Check out her food blog here.