It’s summertime and that means burgers! Therefore, for our next Drought Friendly Recipe, we bring you a delicious, hearty and umami packed (thank you, mushrooms) veggie burger. This recipes makes thirteen 1/4 pound burgers. Now, if it were beef we were using, that would mean a serious water footprint. According to the LA Times, it takes 1,799 gallons of water to make 1 pound of beef. So, again, if this recipe were using beef, it would take a little over 5,800 gallons of water to produce thirteen 1/4 pound burgers. Good thing this recipe is comprised of veggies and grains. When you calculate the water footprint of this recipe as is, it comes out to something around 800 gallons of water or around 1/7 of the water used for a beef burger. So, how about swapping in this recipe for your next burger night? Bonus: you can make the burger mix in advance and then cook the pattys off when the time comes. Enjoy!
Drought Friendly Veggie Burgers
Yield: 13 burgers
¼ cup grapeseed oil, divided, plus more for brushing
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced small (2 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
20 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped roughly (1/2 cup)
24-ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
4 cups vegetable stock
¼ cup white jasmine rice
½ cup black (beluga) lentils
¾ cup bulgur
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, undrained
1 cup panko
1 tablespoon dried Greek oregano
½ teaspoon chipotle powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground cumin
13 burger buns
13 large slices tomato
Lettuce (your choice!)
Organic ketchup, no question
Dijon mustard, gotta’ have mustard too
Place an oven rack to the upper position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add the onion, 2 tablespoons oil and ¼ teaspoon salt to a medium (3½ quart) saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 8 minutes until onions are translucent and just beginning to brown. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and spread the onion mixture over a parchment-lined sheet tray to cool. Do not wash the saucepan.
In a food processor, pulse half the mushrooms until finely chopped, approximately 30 quick pulses. Transfer mushrooms to a medium mixing bowl and pulse the remaining mushrooms in the same way. Transfer remaining mushrooms to the medium mixing bowl. Do not wash food processor.
Stir to combine the chopped mushrooms with 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Spread the mushrooms evenly over a parchment-lined sheet tray. Transfer sheet tray to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes. Remove the sheet tray from the oven and evenly spread the mushrooms over the onions to cool to room temperature.
In the same medium (3½ quart) saucepan used for the onion mixture, add the stock. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Add rice, black lentils, bulgur, black beans (with liquid), ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil again. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes (scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent burning). Remove from the heat and drain excess liquid using a fine mesh strainer. Spread strained rice mixture evenly over a parchment-lined sheet tray and cool to room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl, using a fork, stir to combine the cooked mushrooms, cooked rice mixture, panko, dried oregano, chipotle powder, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, fennel and cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Put half of the mixture into a food processor and pulse 15 times until mixture is well combined. Transfer the processed batch back into the large mixing bowl and stir everything together until well mixed.
Using a ½ cup measuring cup, measure out ½ cup of mixture per burger, shaping the burgers with your hands into 4-inch (diameter) patties. Set each burger on a parchment-lined sheet tray and brush the top of each burger evenly with some oil.
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat for 3 minutes. Transfer the prepared burgers, oil side down, into the pan and cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Brush the second side of the burgers with oil and then flip the burgers over. Continue to cook for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer the cooked burgers to a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the burgers and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove the sheet tray from the oven. Serve burgers on buns with tomato slices, lettuce, pickled shallots, ketchup and mustard.