There are many veggie burger recipes but our vegetarian son, Robert, and I prefer this one made with sprouted chickpeas. We made them during his visit over the holidays. Fresh, sprouted beans provide a number of micronutrients and are high in dietary fiber. They are also well known for being rich in iron. One cup, for example, provides 25% of your average daily iron needs.
If you can’t find sprouted chickpeas you can substitute two cans of garbanzo beans. Make the patties a day or two ahead of time, store covered in the refrigerator and cook when you need them for a quick, nutritious meal. For a change, make them 2 ½ to 3 inches in diameter and serve on a fresh mini bagel instead of a regular hamburger bun.
2½ cups sprouted chickpeas
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 medium white onion (chopped )
Grated zest of one large lemon
1 cup alfalfa sprouts (chopped)
1 cup toasted whole-grain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Steam the sprouted beans until just tender – about 10 minutes. Combine the chickpeas, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into one-inch thick patties. Robert and I like a nice, moist patty because it makes for a nicely textured burger. You can always add more breadcrumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the dough if need be.
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low and cook patties for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove cooked patties from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties.
Serve with a standard setup of lettuce, tomato and onion and don’t forget your favorite secret sauce! If you don’t have a good recipe for secret sauce, send me an email and I’ll send you mine.