This is one of my favorite veggie burgers. It has everything I want: hearty chickpeas, fortifying spinach, a hint of nutty toasted cumin seeds, and final finish of fresh lemon. It's also very easy! As with most burgers in this book, be sure to reserve a portion of the beans and mash them by hand, rather than blitzing all of them in the food processor, as this gives the burger texture. I like to serve them accompanied by traditional burger fixings: lettuce, tomato, and mustard.
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
5 ounces fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chickpea flour (see note) or more if needed
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium skillet. Add the cumin seeds and spinach and cook, tossing with tongs, until the spinach is completely wilted, 2 or 3 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof plate and allow to cool until safe to handle. Drain if necessary, wrap in a towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Chop finely.
3. Combine 1 1/4 cups of the chickpeas, the eggs, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles a chunky hummus.
4. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the remaining 1/4 cup beans and mash coarsely with a potato masher. Add the bean-egg mixture and stir thoroughly. Fold in the chickpea flour. The mixture should be sticky but somewhat pliable. Add more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if too wet, or a bit of water if too dry. Shape into 5 patties.
5. In an oven-safe skillet or nonstick sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and cook until browned on each side, 6 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the burgers are firm and cooked through.
Note: While it's easy to make your own chickpea flour by grinding dried chickpeas in a spice grinder or blender, it can now be found at most grocery stores — but at a hefty price. It's a standard ingredient in Indian cuisines, used to make a breading batter for pakoras and in some flatbreads, and can thus be found readily and less expensively at Indian groceries, where it is sometimes called gram flour.
Excerpted with permission from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way: Fresh, Flavorful and Healthy Vegan and Vegetarian Burgers-Plus Toppings, Sides, Buns and More by Lukas Volger. © 2010. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment, LLC.
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