This is another recipe where you can use a lot of in-season ingredients from the farmer’s market. I was able to find mushrooms, scallions, spinach and carrots at our local Farmer’s Market in Matthews. And slowly but surely locally grown potatoes and bell peppers will be available as well. This is also one of those recipes that I consider “flexible”. If you don’t have any carrots on hand, then leave them out. If you would rather spend less money on a green bell pepper vs. red then go for it. If you prefer a sweet potato over a white potato, it would be the perfect substitution. My point is…there are no excuses to not at least try these burgers!
As mentioned in the title, once assembled, these burgers do freeze well (layer them between sheets of wax paper before you sauté them). I usually special order a dozen honey whole-wheat hamburger buns from Great Harvest, which I store in the freezer as well. Then on any given day I don’t feel like cooking…voila! We can have an instant, homemade, healthy dinner. But before you jump the gun, I do want to mention that these veggie burgers don’t hold together quite as well as the meat version so I would not recommend throwing them on the grill. Enjoy!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup frozen or fresh corn kernels (no need to thaw the frozen ones)
- About 6 mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 2 scallions, coarsely chopped
- ½ red (or green) bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper
- 1 small potato, peeled and chopped into big chunks (sweet potato was used in the picture which gave the burger an orange tint)
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- ¼ cup carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup fresh bread crumbs (see recipe below)
- ¾ cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the corn, mushrooms, scallions and bell pepper. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
- While those veggies are cooking put the peeled potato into a food processor (with the regular slicing blade, it is not necessary to use the grating blade) and chop it up into fine little pieces.
- Scoop the potato out onto an old, clean dish towel and twist it tightly over the sink to squeeze all the liquid out of the chopped potato.
- Meanwhile, add the garlic, cumin and cayenne to the veggie mixture on the stove and cook for 30 more seconds.
- Remove the pan from heat and add the chopped spinach which should wilt slightly.
- Next, add all of the vegetables to the food processor as well as the egg, bread crumbs, and cheese. Process until all items are blended together well (scrape the sides as needed.)
- Use your hands to scoop up some of the mush, then form it into the shape of a burger. Place them on a plate lined with sheets of wax paper until you are ready to cook and/or freeze them.
- Using the same non-stick skillet, heat 2 more tablespoons of olive over medium heat. Cook the burgers on both sides until brown (being gentle when turning them over).
- Toast hamburger buns if desired and serve!
When I get around to making these breadcrumbs I usually make a big batch and store the leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer. This way, it isn’t such a pain when a recipe calls for breadcrumbs. I used to buy the store-bought variety, but when I recently looked at the label and lost count of the number of unpronounceable ingredients I decided never again on those! As a reminder, it only takes a few simple ingredients to make bread.
Breadcrumbs are best if made with stale bread. I like to spread out the pieces I am going to use on the baking sheet and leave them on the counter for a few hours or overnight so they get “stale”. Once your pieces are ready, make sure they are in one even layer on the baking sheet. Place them in a warm oven set at 200 degrees F. Bake for 1 – 2 hours until they are dried out. The pieces can then be ground up into breadcrumbs by running them through the grating blade in the food processor or with a hand grater.