Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quinoa, Red Bean, and Walnut Burgers

Veggie Burgers Every Which Way is another one of the cookbooks I bought with more recipes marked to try then I have time to try them, so I have to carefully rank my bookmarked recipes. This recipe was not at all disappointing in terms of flavor-they are complex, fresh, and hearty-but they do not stay together as well as I would have liked. Potato serves as the binder in this recipe (along with the beans), and it's a sorry substitute for egg. That being said, the wonderful flavor is worth any mess these might make, and I'd happily eat them again. These burgers are incredibly healthy, high in protein from the beans and quinoa (which is a complete protein, rare in a grain) and are full of healthy fats and omega-3s from the walnuts, which also add a delightful contrast in texture.

Quinoa, Red Bean, and Walnut Burgers
from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger
serves 6

1/2 c. quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
1 small potato (4 to 5 ounces), peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
3 T. olive oil
1 bunch scallions, including an inch of the green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 c. roughly chopped fresh parsley
2 T. minced fresh ginger
1.5 c. cooked red beans
1/2 c. roughly chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 t. salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 T. Pomegranate-Sesame Sauce (see Veggie Burgers Every Which Way, page 157)

1. Bring 1 cup water to boil in a small saucepan and add the quinoa. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, steam or boil the potato until tender. Mash with a fork.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook until just fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, cooked potato, parsley-scallion mixture, red beans, and walnuts with a potato masher or your hands. Add the salt and lemon juice. Shape into 6 patties.

5. In a large oven-safe skillet or nonstick saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the patties and spoon 1 teaspoon pomegranate sauce on top of each. Cook until the bottoms are browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook the other sides until crisped and slightly firmed, 4 to 5 minutes more.

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