Monday, June 21, 2010

Pecan & Mushroom Burgers

I've really been enjoying experimenting with different veggie burgers, utilizing different grains and ingredients rather than just beans (even though we love our bean burgers!). This one is interesting because it uses bulgur, pecans, and mushrooms to make a delicious burger patty. We used some high-quality locally made blue cheese for the sauce, which is important depending on how strong or mild you'd like it. If you bought some prepared chunky blue cheese dressing, though, that would probably be just fine too! We really liked this. I made the full recipe so I made extra patties and froze them. I foresee eating them in the future!


Pecan & Mushroom Burgers
Eating Well

Filled with toasted pecans, vinegar-splashed mushrooms and bulgur, these burgers have an earthy, nutty character that pairs perfectly with the luxurious Blue Cheese Sauce.

Make Ahead Tip : Prepare through step 6. Wrap patties individually and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.

2/3 cup bulgur
3/4 teaspoon salt -- divided
1 cup boiling water
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil -- divided
8 ounces white or brown mushrooms -- stems trimmed, wiped clean and chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped onion -- (1 large)
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup pecan halves
Blue Cheese Sauce -- optional (recipe follows)
1 large egg -- lightly beaten
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
Freshly ground pepper -- to taste
8 whole-wheat buns -- (optional)
Watercress -- for garnish

1. Place bulgur and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over, cover and set aside until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Drain in a sieve, pressing out excess liquid.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Immediately transfer the mixture to a plate and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

3. Toast pecans in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

4. Prepare Blue Cheese Sauce, if using.

5. Combine the vegetable mixture and pecans in a food processor; pulse briefly until coarsely chopped. Add egg and the bulgur; pulse briefly, scraping down the sides if necessary, until the mixture is cohesive but roughly textured. Transfer to a bowl; stir in breadcrumbs and pepper. Mix well.

6. With dampened hands, form the mixture into eight 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each.

7. Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 4 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until evenly browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Meanwhile, split and toast buns, if using, to serve the burgers on. Garnish the burgers with watercress and the cheese sauce, if desired.

Servings: 8

Blue Cheese Sauce
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese, (1 ounce)
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Combine yogurt, blue cheese and vinegar in a small bowl and blend with a fork to make a chunky sauce.

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