Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bulgur Burgers with Lime Mayonnaise

This week while John is out of town I decided to see how I would do as a vegetarian. I would not attempt this experiment otherwise because my husband likes his meat and you should hear the complaints I get when I cook something without meat. It's now Thursday and I haven't had any meat since my ham sandwich for lunch on Saturday. So far, I'm not really missing the meat!

The situation was greatly helped by a recipe that appeared in my most recent issue of Gourmet, which arrived a week ago (how timely). It was for bulgur veggie burgers. I love bulgur and I love veggie burgers. I had almost everything I needed already and a quick trip to the Chelsea Market netted me a couple of limes, pinto beans, and some wonderful-looking multigrain buns from Ed's Bread. I decided to make the burgers for dinner on Saturday.

(Photo from Gourmet since I couldn't take a picture of my own.)

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion, divided
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil plus additional for brushing
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup walnuts (2 1/2 oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro sprigs
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp grated lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 4 slices multigrain bread or buns

Cook half of onion with 1/4 tsp salt in oil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add bulgur and water and cook, covered, over low heat until water is absorbed, 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in beans and soy sauce.

Pulse bulgur mixture, walnuts, garlic, cilantro, cumin, cayenne, a rounded 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and remaining onion in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and chill at least 20 minutes. While mixture chills, stir together mayonnaise, zest, and juice. Form rounded 1/2 cups of mixture into 4 (3 1/2-inch-diameter) patties.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook patties, carefully turning once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes total.

Of course I tweaked the recipe. I used flat-leaf parsley instead of cilantro (I like the taste better), I only used 1 tbsp of soy sauce, I cooked the patties on the stove because I don't have a perforated grill sheet, and I used buns instead of making open-faced sandwiches. I also found out very fast that attempting to form the mixture into patties immediately after processing was next to impossible. The mixture is much too gummy and sticky and I ended up with a huge mess all over my hands and a misshapen glob instead of a patty. I made one patty for dinner that night and put the remainder into the fridge in a bowl. The next day I made a patty for lunch and found that the mixture, now that it was thoroughly chilled, was so much easier to handle. Thus I altered the instructions from the original recipe to include adequate chilling before making the patties.

The multigrain buns from Ed's Bread were as yummy as they looked in the store, and I toasted them while the patties cooked and spread the lime mayonnaise on them while still warm. I topped the patties with some fresh tomato slices and a couple of romaine lettuce leaves. Can I just say this was one of the most delicious things I have eaten in a long time? I had a patty for dinner on Saturday, lunch on Sunday, and dinner both Monday and Tuesday. The recipe made enough for four patties and I parsed the mixture out so I had it every day for four days. It was that good. I will definitely make this again!


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'll have to try these - we have that issue, as well. They sound yummy!

Leslie said...

Yummy! These sound great. I'm just impressed that you do real cooking for yourself when you're alone. :) We eat quite a few non-meat meals throughout the week. It tends to be the quickest option for nights when we have soccer, softball, ballet, etc. (life of a busy mom!).

Have you seen the Chelsea blog "Vegetarian Wednesday"?