MAKES 4 SERVINGS
This snazzy burger is an updated version of my original well-loved mushroom-nut burger recipe. Packed with flavorful ingredients, it also has a “meaty” texture. This burger is a sure winner! Bonus—these burgers freeze well too!
11/2 cups freshly ground vegan whole-grain bread crumbs (use vegan and gluten-free bread for a gluten-free option) (see note)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups chopped cremini or white button mushrooms
1/3 cup diced sweet onion
1 teaspoon gluten-free tamari
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten (optional, omit for a gluten-free option, see note)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a medium-sized baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.
Put the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, chili powder, garlic powder and salt into a large bowl. Put the walnuts in a blender and process until coarsely ground. Add the walnuts to the bread crumb mixture and stir to incorporate. Put the mushrooms, onion and tamari in a blender and process into a chunky purée. Add the mushroom mixture to the walnut/bread crumb mixture and stir to incorporate. Stir in the optional wheat gluten and 1 tablespoon olive oil, adding more olive oil 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed, until wheat gluten is fully incorporated and the mixture is no longer dry and holds together when held in the palm of your hand.
Place a 3 1/2 to 4-inch cookie cutter ring on the parchment. Pack one-quarter of the mushroom–bread crumb mixture into the ring and press it firmly and evenly into the ring to form a “burger.” Gently remove the ring (see note). Repeat with the remaining mushroom/bread crumb mixture until you have formed a total of 4 burgers. Flatten each burger slightly with the back of a flat spatula.
Bake for 15 minutes. Flip each burger and bake for an additional 15 to 18 minutes or until the burgers are slightly crisp and golden. Serve with Ketchup-Mayo Sauce (page xx) in a whole-grain (or gluten-free) bun, along with a thick slice of tomato, chopped sweet onion, dill pickle slices and crisp romaine lettuce (see photo) for an “out of this world” veggie burger!
Chef’s Note: Freshly made bread crumbs must be used in this recipe, as dry bread crumbs will not hold the burgers together. To make fresh bread crumbs, tear 3 to 4 slices of fresh, soft, whole-grain (or gluten-free) bread into chunks. Put the bread chunks into a blender and process (on low) into coarse crumbs.
Chef’s Note: The addition of the vital wheat gluten will produce a firmer burger with a more realistic “burger” texture. That being said, I have made these burgers many times without the wheat gluten and love them just as much that way! So–in short–the vital wheat gluten is truly optional! If you do omit the wheat gluten, decrease the amount of olive oil to 1 to 2 teaspoons. (If you are cooking gluten free, be certain to omit the vital wheat gluten.)
Chef’s Note: Alternately, you may form 4 burgers by hand and then flatten each burger slightly with the back of a flat spatula.
This recipe is revised from Laura Theodore’s Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites, (BenBella Books, 2013). Reprinted with permission. Learn more at www.benbellabooks.com.