Eggplant Veggie Burgers

Yesterday my car read 111 degrees as the outside temperature during my drive home. And I had just walked approximately 5 blocks to my car. Where’s a air conditioned body suit when you need one? Then while flipping through retail magazines from the mail, they had the nerve to display the new fall collection. Just looking at it made me sweat! I love fall clothing, but I am pretty sure I haven’t seen a temperature below 90 since early May and haven’t had the ability to think of having more clothing on than necessary (Scarves? Look more like choking devices right now).

Despite the heat, I still manage to turn on my oven. I pay for it (literally) when my utility bill comes every month, but I’m not very good at coming up with no-cook entrees. At least this one is on the stove-top (although I did use the broiler too). It takes a bit of extra time compared to a meat burger, but it was well worth it. It has to be impossible for these not to be juicy. And the fantastic flavors that come from the eggplant and seasonings won’t need to be accompanied by any condiments. Yes, a lover of condiments just stated their lack of purpose on this sandwich!

Ingredients:

3 large eggplants, peeled and cubed

4 green onions, sliced, both white and green parts

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1-1/2 cups plain bread crumbs

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt and black pepper

1-3/4 tsp Weber Grill Creations Gourmet Burger Seasoning (or your favorite blend)

Buns and toppings

Directions:

  1. In a large pan (my largest wasn’t big enough so I used to pans), heat a bit of oil over medium-low and cook the cubed eggplant down completely, till it’s sort of a mushy mass of eggplant. This takes about 25 minutes, and be sure to stir occasionally. When you stir, smush it with your spoon or spatula. Remove it from the pan and put it in a large bowl.
  2. In the same pan, lightly sauté the green onions and garlic, just about 2-3 minutes to take the raw edge off. Add to the bowl of cooked eggplant.
  3. Stir the parsley, cheddar, bread crumbs, and seasonings into the eggplant mixture. Get in there with your hands and mix it up. Set in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to chill. After chilling, form the mixture into 8 patties.
  4. In the same large skillet, heat a bit of oil over medium high heat. Get the oil nice and hot, and cook the patties for 4-5 minutes on one side, then flip and cook on the second the side for about 5 minutes*. You want them nicely golden brown and crispy on each side (will still be a bit mushy inside).
  5. Serve with your favorite burger accessories. Store any leftovers in the fridge!

*Cooking them in the pan was a failure for me. Instead I stuck them under the broiler set at 500 degrees for about 10 minutes per side, or until crispy and browned.

Source: Elle’s New England Kitchen, with slight changes purely based on what I had on hand already.

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