I CANNOT believe I’ve not shared these burgers with you. They are an absolute favorite of mine and they are Ms. Picky Pants’ favorite veggie burger. If THAT isn’t a recommendation, I don’t know what is. I came across the recipe a few years ago in The Washington Post, and after quite a bit of experimentation, we’ve found the version of their version (ha) that appeals most to us. If you’re a fan of Lynne Rosetto Kasper (of American Public Media’s The Splendid Table fame), you should know she has also claimed a version of these as HER personal favorite veggie burger. If you’re not yet impressed I’ll go out and fine some more people who love them… okay, you’re right I won’t. You should just give them a try.
If you’ve got a food processor, these babies are ingredients to table 35 minutes. If you don’t serve on bread (or choose your bread wisely), they’re gluten free. They’re packed with nutrition between the chickpeas and the spinach and if you pantry stock, the only fresh ingredient you need is greens – and yes, you can sub out frozen there. These babies also keep and freeze beautifully. I double the recipe (except when I forget, which I did tonight and I am oh so sad). The flavor is satisfying and while they are not remotely burger-y (you should try these Nutshroom Burgers if that’s what you’re after), they work beautifully with typical burger treatment and really satisfy that hot handheld entree craving. Enough with the sell – let’s get down to some quick and delicious dinner.
Spinach Chickpea Burgers (GF,DF) - adapted from this recipe in The Washington Post
- 5 ounces fresh spinach (other greens work well too – I’ve used both kale and chard with good results)
- oil for the pan
- 1 3/4 c cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed if you’re using canned), divided
- 2 flax eggs (chickie eggs work too)
- 1 t salt
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1/2-3/4 c chickpea flour (other flours work here as well, but the flavor of the chickpea is great, and it works for those trying to cut back on gluten)
Warm a pan on the stove with just a drizzle of your preferred oil. Add spinach and stir. Cook only until spinach (or whatever green you’ve chosen) is wilted. Don’t go farther. Catch it while it’s still bright green and beautiful. Remove to a sieve and allow to drip in the sink to remove excess water.
Add 1 1/2 c chickpeas, eggs, salt, and lemon juice to the food processor and blitz until your mixture is about the consistency of a chunky hummus. Remove to mixing bowl. Press on spinach with spoon to press out any remaining excess water. Add spinach and remaining 1/4 c chickpeas to the batter and use a potato masher or large spoon to incorporate these ingredients. Add chickpea flour until the batter can be molded with your hands into patties that are still a little wet, but will hold together. Add oil to pan to warm. Create patties with batter. Our single batch made 3 adult sized and 3 kid sized burgers. It’s really not that important that you get the sizing right – it is YOUR dinner, after all. Place patties in warm pan and allow to brown. Flip after 5-8 minutes and brown the other side. Once brown, lower heat to keep warm until you are ready to serve, or place in warm oven. They are very tolerant of being “overdone.”
While the burgers are cooking, you can solve the problem the original recipe presented to us. The cumin. If you look at the original recipe and our version, you’ll see that I’ve removed the cumin “But why, why, WHY would you remove the cumin?!” Yes, I agree, and I remove the cumin because I’m pretty sure my daughter is a super taster and cumin is a pain in my dinner serving behind. Therefore, when cumin is called for, we solve this problem with our condiments. I used to simply mix some cumin with some mayo, and this was awesome, so if that works for you, have at it. In my attempt to find an egg free homemade solution tonight, I turned to cashews, and boy am I glad I did.
Cumin Cashewnaise (GF,DF)
- 3/4 c cashews, soaked in water for at least an hour
- 2 T olive oil
- 5 T water
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t ground cumin
Add ingredients to food processor. Blitz for a long time – until the you have a smooth, creamy bowl of yum that you want to slather on things.
So there you have it, dinner in 35 minutes, mostly from the pantry, super nutritious, definitely yum. We served ours burger style – on bread with lettuce and tomatoes, healthy blob of Cumin Cashewnaise, a side of roasted potatoes, and a green salad. Yes, the potatoes are also good with Cumin Cashewnaise – how’d you know? Delish!