sticking with it

one thing i'd love to master is a good veggie burger. i don't mean something made out of tofu or soy mince (obviously) - i mean a burger with real vegetables/beans/grains, like the organic superveg burger at the veggie table or dr praeger's california veggie burgers. but my problem is making burger patties that stick together while cooking. there's no way one of those will make it to the barbecue or grill - it's hard enough trying to keep them intact in a frying pan. so what's the solution?

well, i figured mark bittman may have some sort of solution. and it appears he does: the spring vegetable burger from how to cook everything vegetarian is bound by mashed potatoes, which seem to do the trick nicely. (sidenote: does that link work for you? if so, then you can see all of the recipes in how to cook everything vegetarian FOR FREE! mind=blown.)

we served ours up for dinner last night on a multi-seed bun (feel free to omit or use a gluten-free burger bun instead), and some baby spinach leaves. and of course, heinz 57.

fresh spring vegetable burger

from how to cook everything vegetarian by mark bittman; makes 6 burgers
the particulars:

  • 1 pound baby new potatoes
  • salt
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh asparagus, finely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, parsley, and chives, finely chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. sprinkle in some salt and bring to the boil. turn the heat down slightly and leave to cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are really tender. drain and set aside.
  2. meanwhile, get a griddle pan or skillet nice and hot and add about 1 tbsp of the olive oil. add the asparagus and cook for a couple of minutes, until slightly tender. add the peas and herbs and mix with the asparagus. cook for another two minutes or so, until everything is warmed through, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
  3. combine the cooked potatoes and vegetable/herb mixture in a large mixing bowl and mash. add more seasoning if necessary. leave the mash for a few minutes to cool and rest before shaping into 6 evenly sized patties.
  4. wipe down the griddle pan or skillet you used in step 2 and add more of the olive oil. heat up the pan again and add the patties, as many as will fit in the pan. cook until nicely browned on one side and carefully flip, until firm and browned. this whole process may take up to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your patties. add more oil if necessary to assist in browning and adhering each patty.
  5. remove from the pan and serve with burger buns, ketchup, salad, etc etc etc. the choice is yours really :)