Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Baked Cauliflower Burgers

My recent veggie burger obsession is just about to an end. It's not to say that there won't be any more veggie burger recipes on this blog (I've got one more in the hopper just waiting to be published), but I've made it almost all the recipes I bookmarked in Veggie Burgers Every Which Way, with most of the rest lying in wait until their feature ingredients come into season. My favorite has to be Sweet Potato Burgers with Lentils and Kale, but these burgers run a close second. Dijon-Roasted Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetable side dishes of all-time so it's no surprise that these cauliflower burgers would delight my taste buds as well. The balanced combination of spicy Dijon mustard, vinegary capers, and salty, savory Parmesan takes cauliflower from a splendid side to a hearty and delicious main dish. Although best fresh out of oven amidst the intoxicating aroma of toasted bread crumbs and Parmesan, they also provided a bright spot in my day as I plucked them from my lunch bag at work, keeping me full and fueled all day long. Veggie burgers for lunch every day might seem like punishment to some, but this scrumptious collection of flavors was nothing but welcome for the six days in a row I chowed down on them. Even though my veggie burger madness is waning, I know these will be back on my table as soon as cauliflower appears in the farmer's market this summer--but make sure you don't wait that long.

Baked Cauliflower Burgers
from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger
makes 6 burgers

1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons potato starch
2 eggs
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
2 tablespoons capers, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups toasted bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the cauliflower in a steaming basket set in a small saucepan with 1 inch of simmering water, cover, and steam for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cauliflower can be effortlessly pierced with a knife. Cool slightly on a baking sheet or cutting board.

3. In a food processor, puree two-thirds of the steam cauliflower with the mustard, potato starch, eggs, and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

4. Chop the remaining cauliflower into 1/8- to 1/4-inch piece (or pulse in a food processor until roughly chopped). Add to the pureed mixture. Stir in the parsley, capers, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Fold in 1 cup of the bread crumbs. Adjust seasonings. Shape into 6 patties.

5. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and Parmesan on a plate. Gently dredge the patties int the crumbs so that they are coated on both side and the edges. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the burgers are firm and uniformly browned.

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