Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spinach & Garbanzo Bean Veggie Burger

Don't worry, you have not entered a parallel universe. It is not snowing in Hell. But yes, I did make a veggie burger tonight.

This past Friday, Alexis and I worked at our Johnson City, TN office. We skipped lunch so we could eat an early dinner on our way out of town at our favorite restaurant there, Cootie Brown's, . (Next 3 photos are mobile phone pics.)

This place is eclectic and fun. Staff wear tie dyed t shirts. The planter boxes out front have bright colored flowers made out of rebar and car radiator fans. They have outdoor and indoor seating pretty much year round. And....can I show you the men's room? This is some of the hilarious artwork in the men's room. Yep, that's a screaming roll of toilet paper.

But it is their exceptional menu and quality food that keeps us coming back. We almost always get something different and this time, we both ordered different veggie burgers! Yes, two confirmed Carnivortarians ordered veggie burgers. Alexis got the black bean burger and I got the spinach burger (only the second veggie burger I've eaten in my life).

How much did I like it? I decided to try to make them on my own tonight but the only hint I had was that it had garbanzo beans as a base.

Spinach & Garbanzo Bean Veggie Burger
Source: Nibble Me This inspired by Cootie Brown's

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
6 oz baby spinach (by weight, not volume)
2 oz basil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp red pepper, ground
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 ea eggs
1/4-1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients except bread crumbs in a food processor or blender until you have a paste consistency. Add bread crumbs in pulses until you get a thicker consistency.

Shape into 4 burger sized patties. If they are too "mushy" add more bread crumbs and maybe a bit of flour until the mixture can be shaped into patties. TIP: Remember that these are veggie patties and that they won't shrink like the typical ground beef burger. Try to keep them about the size of your buns. (Bread buns. If you've "got much back", don't try to replicate that.)

Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.

Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup mayo and 3 Tbsp pesto together.

Preheat a cast iron skillet in a 350f oven and then put on medium heat on the range top. Cook for 5 minutes on one side. Flip and cook an additional 4-5 minutes on the opposite side.

Serve on a toasted roll with the pesto mayo.

For the second time ever tasting a veggie burger and the first time ever trying to recreate it, I think we did a bang up job on this one.

But if you ever find yourself in Johnson City, TN, make sure you stop by Cootie Brown's. I don't think you'll be disappointed.