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An amazing veggie burger based heavily on a recipe from Kenji Lopez of serious eats. This is a hearty burger recipe that will hold up on the grill with a great mouth feel. Marmite adds significant savory flavor, and I highly suggest buying it for this recipe. It was hard for me to find anywhere but online. There is significant prep work for these, but it makes a good amount and the results are "good eats".
- 1 1⁄2 lbs button mushrooms, trimmed
- 1⁄4 cup canola oil
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 (1/2 lb) eggplant
- 2 large leeks, chopped fine
- 1 medium garlic clove
- 3⁄4 cup dry pearl barley
- 1 (14 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and patted dry on paper towels
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon marmite or 1 teaspoon vegemite or 1 teaspoon maggi seasoning
- 1 cup cashews (toasted)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 1⁄2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper
- Coat mushrooms and eggplant with 2 Tbsps of oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap eggplant in aluminium foil. Spread mushrooms out over baking sheet and cover with thyme. Bake both in oven for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Mushrooms should be brown and eggplant tender.
- Heat 2 Tbsps of oil in a skillet and cook leeks until soft but not brown. Add garlic and stir constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.
- Boil barley per brand instructions until soft, drain and press to remove excess liquid.
- Add half of garbanzo beans to the bowl of a food processor along with flour, baking powder, soy sauce, Marmite and half of eggplant. Process until a smooth paste forms, scraping down sides as necessary. Transfer mixture to bowl with barley. Pulse remaining chickpeas in food processor and pulse until beans are chopped to about the size of a lentil (5 to 6 short bursts), scraping down sides as necessary. Transfer to bowl with barley mixture. Chop cashews or pinenuts (if using) in the food processor the same way and add to barley mix.
- When mushrooms are cool, add to bowl of food processor and pulse until finely chopped but still coarse in texture, about 8 to 10 short pulses. Add to barley mix. When leeks are cool, transfer to food processor. Chop with 8 to 10 short pulses and add to barley mix.
- Stir together mixture until completely homogenous. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mixture can be refrigerated and stored for up to 5 days at this point or frozen in an airtight freezer bag for up to 3 months.
- When Ready To Serve: Add breadcrumbs to mixture and work them in with your hands. Make a sample patty. It should have the texture of ground beef and hold together easily. If not, add water a tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Divide mixture into eight patties about 4-inches across and 1/2 an inch thick. Patties must be cooked within 30 minutes of adding breadcrumbs.
- To Finish on a Griddle or in a Skillet: Heat three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add four patties and cook without moving until first side is well-browned, about 3 minutes. I like to press a disk of sliced onion into the top side while it cooks. Flip burgers and top with cheese (if desired) and cook until second side is browned and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a toasted bun and serve with condiments as desired.
- To Finish on the Grill: Preheat a gas or charcoal grill with a medium-high fire. Rub the grill grates with an oil-soaked paper towel and add the burgers. Cook without moving until well-browned, about four minutes. Flip burgers, top with cheese if desired, and cook on second side until well browned, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to toasted bun and serve.