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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sprouted Garbanzo Burgers

Nick and an old RISD friend built us an island to finish off the new kitchen. I love its white glass top and side shelves for cookbooks. I find myself still reaching for favorite cookbooks more often then not even in a world where recipes are everywhere. The internet is saturated with food, food, food. But there's something about sitting down with a beautifully designed and photographed book, written by a cook you trust, that makes meal planning more fun. I probably have 40 cookbooks (after donating a boxful after the move) and use them all but favor a few. Still, years after purchasing them, I find myself looking at Heidi Swanson's, Yotom Ottolenghi's, and Susie Middleton's books most often. My latest purchase, The Nourished Kitchen, is in the mail.

These Sprouted Garbanzo Burgers are from Heidi Swanson's first book Super Natural Cooking (a wedding present to us in 2008). They are simple and delicious, as an old standby should be. Making dinner out of green sprouting things feels very spring (as does our blooming yard.) My mom and Dylan planted a flower garden on Mother's Day and we've actually watered it every day silencing my great fear of killing everything within 1 week. So far I'm calling it a total success.

Sprouted Garbanzo Burgers
from Super Natural Cooking
makes 12 mini burgers

2 1/2 cups sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 onion, chopped
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup micro sprouts (try broccoli, onion, or alfalfa sprouts), chopped
1 cup toasted whole-grain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter

Avocado slices
Cilantro leaves

If you are using sprouted garbanzos, steam them until tender, about 10 minutes. If you are using canned beans, jump right in. Combine the garbanzos, eggs, and salt in a food processor and puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into 12 1 1/2-inch-thick patties. I err on the moist side here, because it makes for a nicely textured burger. You can always add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Carefully cut each patty in half, insert your favorite fillings, and enjoy immediately.

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