Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn Veggie Burger

Autumn Veggie Burger
Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
Happy Autumn Equinox!

I made a special autumn-themed meal last night to celebrate the season even though it feels much more like summer here than autumn. Alas, that's part of the fun of living in Southern California. We have 1.5 seasons here. But back to the food...

Dinner was fantastic! I prepared Spicy Autumn Veggie Burgers with Caramelized Onions served on whole wheat buns with maple BBQ sauce along side Roasted Garlic Millet Mash. Yum! All the recipes were adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman, which is fast becoming one of my favorite cookbooks.

Spicy Autumn Veggie Burgers
Makes: 4-6 servings (we got 5 burgers out of one recipe)
Time: 30 minutes with cooked beans and greens
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces, raw) cooked collards (or you could use kale, turnip or mustard greens, broccoli raab, or any winter green) 
  • 2 cups canned white beans, drained and rinsed (or you could use cannellini or other beans)
  • 4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 12 oz) peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko (or other bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne, or to taste
  • A little all-purpose flour, if needed, for binding (I didn't need it)
  1. Squeeze all the water out of the collards and finely chop them. Put the white beans in a large bowl and mash them roughly. Stir in the greens with a fork.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the sweet potato and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until it begins to soften and color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs and remaining spices and cook and stir for another minute or so.
  3. Stir the sweet potato mixture into the bean mixture with a fork, mixing until well blended. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes if you can before shaping it into patties. If it seems too wet, stir in a little flour to help bind it. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (You can make the burger mixture up to several hours in advance. Just cover tightly and refrigerate, then bring everything back to room temperature before cooking.) Wipe out the skillet.
  4. Shape the mixture into 4-6 patties (ours consisted of about 2 ice creams scoops of mixture, each). Put 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in the skillet and turn the heat to medium. When the oil is hot, carefully slide the burgers into the pan. Cook until nicely browned on one side, about 5 minutes; turn carefully and cook on the other side until firm and browned, adding the remaining oil if necessary.
  5. Serve or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use.
Roasted Garlic Millet Mash
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes, largely unattended
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
  • 1 cup millet
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, coarsely shopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cups veggie stock
  • 1 head roasted garlic, squeezed from the skin
  1. Put the oil in a large pot with a lid over medium heat. Add the millet and stir constantly until it toasts and turns golden, about 3 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the cauliflower and 2 1/2 cups of the stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the millet bursts, about 30 minutes. Add a little stock anytime the mixture gets too dry.
  3. Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the millet and cauliflower in the pan. Or cool the mixture slightly, pour into a food processor or food mill (which will make the mash fluffy), and carefully puree. Return the mash to the pot, add the roasted garlic, and reheat gently, stirring in more stock if needed. Taste, adjust seasoning, and serve.
Hot damn, this was an awesome meal! The flavors just screamed, "We are so gettin' our autumn on up in here!" The burger was sweet and spicy and the millet mash was stick-to-yer-ribs good. The roasted garlic in the millet mash made it creamy and delicious and the caramelized onions on the burger added the perfect sweet accent to the spicy BBQ sauce and burger beneath. This meal was hearty and delicious - a perfect culinary celebration of autumn.


jessy said...

sweet batman, Marni - those burgers sound like the best damn things, EVER! oh my goodness!

roasted garlic in the millet mash sounds fantastical! i super puffy heart me some roasted garlic! and a burger with caramelized onions, and one that's made with delicious greens, white beans, and sweet potatoes - yeah, doesn't get much tastier than that. hot damn, indeeds!

printing off the recipes now! superw00t!

Marni said...

Indeed, the burgers rocked. Hard. Almost as good as the summer veggie burgers I made a couple months ago:

Homemade veggie burgers are so tasty.


Wow...the burgers looks and sound delicious.
Thank you for posting the recipe.

Marni said...

You're most welcome! I hope you give them a try.

allularpunk said...

this. looks. so. good.

roasted garlic millet mash? *drool* now i know what to do with the last of my millet. thank you for having awesome recipes!

Marni said...

Yes! So happy you're going to try the millet mash. It was sooooo tasty. :) Thanks for stopping by!