Friday, May 31 Chard and Chickpea Burgers Rating: 4.25

This burger made me very, very happy and I wanted to rate it higher, but Seth disagreed a little tiny bit and I’ll tell you why in a little bit. First, I have way too many cookbooks and tend to forget about the ones I don’t use as often. This happened with “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way”. I remembered it because the potato starch as egg replacement (which I used for Thursday’s potato cakes) from that book. So, I decided to see what I could find to use some of our CSA items, since it really does have a lot of clever recipes that use a lot of veggies in them. I think I set it aside because some of the recipes seem really involved and only about half of them are vegan. I don’t know – maybe I just have so many vegan burger recipes that I couldn’t be arsed to deal with making egg replacer. (Aside: the homemade buns recipe in the book is really, really good, so if you have the book and haven’t tried it, you should.) 

Burgers in the pan
Burgers in the pan

So anyway, I found this little gem of a recipe for Spinach-Chickpea Burgers that looked really tempting in the book, and since I already had a big bag of potato starch on hand, figured I should make something else using it. Except I didn’t have spinach I had chard, which, aside from all the strawberries, has been my favorite thing to see in the weekly CSA box. Since I more or less think of chard and spinach as almost completely interchangeable and (score!) a clever/new way to use some of our veggie bounty, I figured it would be ok to make the swap for these burgers.  The recipe asks for 5 ounces of spinach, so I just eyeballed what I though was a similar amount of chard.  I ended up adding a little more once I mixed it with the chickpeas. I also decided to replace the egg with flax instead of the potato starch that had me revisit the book in the first place. I felt like added the steamed potato/potato starch mixture would make the burgers too dense since the chickpeas & chickpea flour were already going to make them pretty solid. I think I made the right call. The recipe is one of the “kind of involved” recipes in the book It’s not hard, it just has a bunch of steps, and isn’t one of the “pull it together really fast” type of burger recipes I tend to make most often. Once you get all the ingredients combined and form your patties (they’re a little sticky, but that’s ok), you cook them in a skillet until each side is browned and the burgers start to firm up, then you transfer the skillet to the oven and let them finish cooking/firming in there. Thankfully, I have a tiny skillet in addition to the large one, because the recipe makes 5 burgers and my skillet would only hold 4. The tiny one was the perfect size for the last burger. We had some buns on hand that we’d picked up at Dough Bakery when we were there for breakfast on Sunday, so I was really excited to use those. I also found some of the new Daiya Swiss slices and was dying to try them out. (The verdict for me on these is that they’re good melted, but not so much cold.) So we topped the burgers with lettuce, tomato, red onion, swiss, mayo & mustard. Yum. I put the cheese on during the last few minutes or baking and it melted really well. It has a REALLY strong flavor though, which is why Seth didn’t want to rate the burgers higher – he said it was hard to discern the taste of the burgers because the cheese was so strong. For me, this is a make again recipe. The chard was a great substitute for the spinach, and I’m glad to have the leftover burgers in the freezer to nom again soon. Oh, and these are gluten-free, so if you’re intolerant, they’re a great option for you.

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