Celebrate the Fourth of July with homemade veggie patties.
I never bothered to make my own veggie patties, since the frozen ones are so easy to find. But what the heck, Wednesday Food Blogging is not for wusses. Sometimes we must extricate ourselves from our comfort zone and leave the frozen soy patties in the freezer case.
As I've told people, in my annoying know-it-all voice, plenty of times, there are two schools of thought when it comes to veggie burgers. One is the typical soy patty, the Boca burgers and your Tesco Quarter Pounders. They aim to look and taste very much like meat, and I suppose they succeed—I've often refused to eat one of these type burgers in restaurants, sure that I've been inadvertantly served the "real" thing.
The other philosophy is to forego the idea of dead animals altogether and embrace the vegetable. This type often has bits of veg in it, bright orange carrot, green zucchini or peppers. I like this version much better, and I suspect most committed vegetarians do too. On the other hand, the soy-meat type is great for those who can't quite live without the texture and taste of meat. For those people, I'm glad Boca burgers exist.
This is also a good time for me to confess: I never liked hamburgers when I was a kid. In fact, in first grade, I learned a useful word: allergic. Tossing that word out meant I didn't have to drink my milk like the other kids, or eat raw tomatoes, and it worked for the dreaded hamburgers too—until my mom came to school and that mean ole Mrs Harper asked why I was allergic to hamburgers. But I really thought I was, as I would get nauseated just smelling them in the lunchroom. (It's funny, everyone used to joke back then that they were soy patties. If only they were.)
Ah well. This patty is nothing like that vile stuff they served at Lexington Elementary. We had the leftovers tonight, and they're pretty good warmed up too. I bet they could even be individually wrapped and frozen, just like the ones in your grocer's freezer case.
By the way, that's soy cheeze in the photo, cause I'm still "allergic".
Mushroom Nut Burgers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup assorted nuts—cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds
1 medium sized carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/4 cup water, or more
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
flour, for dredging
more oil, for frying
Saute mushrooms in oil until dry, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, grind nuts in a food processor until finely ground. Add chopped carrot, onion and garlic and process until ingredients are combined. Place mixture in a bowl with other ingredients, including mushrooms. Mix thoroughly, and shape into patties. (Makes around 6.)
Dredge each patty in flour and pan fry in oil for around 7 minutes each side, medium heat.
Serve warm, with soy cheeze and condiments.
Notes on ingredients: I used a variety of nuts, including selenium-rich Brazil nuts. But you can use one variety if you'd prefer. I used basil salt, from Amsterdam. Not sure if it's available anywhere else. Flax seeds are available most places these days, especially at health food stores.