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How To Build a Better Burger
Comments () | Published August 1, 2006
You can be a vegetarian and still get a good burger with this meatless creation by Haidar Karoum of Asia Nora. Photograph by Allison Dinner

The Veggie Burger

By Haidar Karoum of Asia Nora

For the patties:

1/4 cup dried chickpeas

1/4 cup dried red lentils

1/4 cup dried fava beans

1 tablespoon bulgur wheat

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 scallions, chopped

1/4 cup grated carrots

1/4 cup minced parsley

1/4 cup minced cilantro

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon ground anise

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

For toppings:

1/2 cup labne (available at Whole Foods)

2 cups arugula

2 heirloom tomatoes (preferably Cherokee Purple), sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced

1/2 cup smoked eggplant-lemon vinaigrette (recipe follows)

4 small rounds of whole-wheat pita bread, toasted

Soak the chickpeas, lentils, and fava beans in water overnight. Rinse the bulgur wheat in cold water, drain, and let stand for 20 minutes. Put all patty ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and pulse until thoroughly mixed, about 4 minutes. Shape into 4 patties.

Heat the olive oil in a pan set over medium heat. Sautee the patties until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Top each burger with labne and stuff into pita, then garnish with arugula, tomato, red onion, and vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette (makes two cups):

1 eggplant

¾ cup olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for rubbing eggplant

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons tahini

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon sambal olek (available at Whole Foods)


Set a grill or broiler to high heat.  Rub the eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Grill or broil, turning often, for about 20 minutes, until tender.  Cool, peel, and discard the skin.  Puree the eggplant in a blender with the remaining ingredients until smooth.  Season to taste. 

A chicken burger fragrant with summer savory and topped with heirloom tomatoes and arugula is a late-summer pleasure from Poste's Robert Weland. Photograph by Allison Dinner

The Chicken Burger

By Robert Weland of Poste

11/2 pounds chicken breast, diced

8 egg whites

6 tablespoons Dijon mustard, plus more to taste

1/4 cup summer savory

1/4 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup arugula

2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced

4 poppy-seed brioche buns

Chill the bowl and blade of a food processor in the freezer for 10 minutes. When the processor is cold, pulse the chicken and egg whites until smooth. Add the mustard and summer savory, season to taste with salt and pepper, and continue blending until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the cream until the mixture becomes aerated and mousselike. Refrigerate the mixture until cold. Mold into 4 patties and return to the refrigerator.

Preheat the grill to high heat and cook patties 5 minutes on each side.

Serve on toasted brioche buns with Dijon mustard, arugula, and tomato.

Say hello to the Indian burger, whose not-so-secret ingredient is mint chutney. Photograph by Allison Dinner

The Indian Burger

By Mitul Tuli of Heritage India

21/4 pounds ground chicken

2 eggs, lightly whisked

1 tablespoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon yellow-chili powder

1 teaspoon white pepper

4 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/3 cup whole cashews, ground

2/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped ginger

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon garam masala

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

3 tablespoons mint chutney (recipe follows)

2 tomatoes, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped (for garnish)

Salt to taste

4 buns

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the chicken with the eggs, cumin, yellow-chili powder, white pepper, and vegetable oil. Season with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes. Fold in the cashews, chopped onion, ginger, 1/3 cup cilantro, and garam masala. Divide into 4 patties.

Roast the patties in the oven for 8 minutes, basting once with butter. When the burgers are cooked through, remove them from the oven.

Slice 4 buns in half. Spread one side with mayonnaise and the other with mint chutney. Place a burger on each bun and garnish with tomato, red onion, and chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with more mint chutney on the side.

Mint chutney (makes 2 cups):

31/3 cups fresh mint leaves

12/3 cups fresh cilantro leaves

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 jalapeno peppers

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

5 tablespoons yogurt

1 tablespoon chat masala

1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red-chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Put the mint, cilantro, lemon juice, jalapenos, onion, and ginger in a blender and puree into a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the yogurt, chat masala, and chili powder. Season with salt.


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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 08/01/2006 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Articles