Friday, July 8, 2011

Greek-Style Quinoa Burgers

I've been wanting to make veggie burgers for a while, but have never had a reason to do so (nor a vegetarian crowd to cook for). Luckily, this 4th of July I volunteered to make burgers for my vegetarian friend. I knew I wanted to use beans and quinoa, and started searching for recipes from there. I loved this one because the ingredients were simple, the burger patties are really easy to make, and there's a yogurt sauce to top everything off. And yes, I use more of the yogurt sauce on each burger than most people would, but I am slightly obsessed with it.

I made the patties at home and brought them over to the barbecue and they traveled really well. I made them in the morning, put them in a Tupperware, with each layer separated by wax paper, and grilled them that evening. I even had some leftover patties that I made the next day and they were still great. When you form the patties, keep your hands wet. I ran my hands under water in between forming each burger. Also, the patties fall apart really easily, so be careful with them. To cook the burgers, I just flipped the wax paper layers over into the pan, not even touching the burgers, and that method seemed to be the easiest. Also, make sure there's lots of space in the pan. I tried making these in a small pan and found it a lot harder to flip the burgers without them falling apart. The large pan worked much better. Don't skimp on the oil either, they absorb lots while cooking.

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 6

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
1 medium carrot, grated
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 15 ounce can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon  cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, possibly more
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped English cucumber
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
6 burger buns or pitas
veggies of choice

Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a small saucepan. When boiling, add the quinoa, turn heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked through and the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine the carrot, scallions, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well combined but still chunky. Mix in the quinoa.

For the mixture into 6 3/4" patties, wetting your hands between each patty. If the mixture is too soft, leave it in the fridge for about 10 minutes to firm before forming the patties.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until the burgers are browned on each side and cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Add more oil if it is all absorbed before you flip the burgers.

In the meantime, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, cucumber, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

Serve the burgers on a bun or pita bread, with veggies of choice, and topped with yogurt sauce. Pin It Now!

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