Bites {Pecan & Mushroom Burgers}

I noticed this week that it's been a while since I've done a Bites post. But lucky for you the hubs and I were cooking machines in the month leading up to our departure of Santa Monica. I've tried my hand at many a veggie burger in the past, but the recipes always turned out to be ones I didn't care to try again...and then this one came along.

The big difference in ingredients between these pecan & mushroom burgers and past contenders is the use of bulgur. Before I'd been making legume-based burgers and the consistency always turned out kinda weird. But at first glance, these could almost pass for meat patties...if it weren't for all the glorious bits of veggies shining through. :) 

Eating Well suggests pairing these with its blue cheese sauce, which we did the first time. But after that I decided I liked good ol' mustard and ketchup better. It also calls for watercress for garnish, but neither of us are a fan, so we abstained and it was still yummy.

Pecan & Mushroom Burgers
Makes 8 patties

2/3 cup bulgur
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup boiling water
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces white or brown mushrooms, stems trimmed, wiped clean and chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped onion, (1 large)
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup pecan halves
Blue Cheese Sauce, optional
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 whole-wheat buns
Watercress, for garnish

Place bulgur and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over it, cover and set aside until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Drain in a sieve, pressing out excess liquid.

Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Immediately transfer the mixture to a plate and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Toast pecans in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Prepare Blue Cheese Sauce, if using.

Combine the vegetable mixture and pecans in a food processor; pulse briefly until coarsely chopped. Add egg and the bulgur; pulse briefly, scraping down the sides if necessary, until the mixture is cohesive but roughly textured. Transfer to a bowl; stir in breadcrumbs and pepper. Mix well.

With dampened hands, form the mixture into eight 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each.

Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 4 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until evenly browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Meanwhile, split and toast buns, if using, to serve the burgers on. Garnish the burgers with watercress and the cheese sauce, if desired.

{Image by Me}

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