Recipe: Bean and Bulgur
 Veggie Burgers

Create the ultimate, at-home veggie burger

by Brian Ricci

The veggie burger can get a bad rap—it can be bland, muddled or (worst of all!) a facsimile of its meaty counterpart. To avoid these pitfalls, let me suggest going for robust flavors and good texture. This you can easily achieve by blending beans, nuts and spices and binding them with egg, but it’s not always necessary. Vegan burger patties require more attention on the grill and are more delicate than their beef brethren—treat them tenderly, but most of all, celebrate them for what they are—not what they are not.

Makes 8 burgers

Ingredients: 

  • 4.3 ounces red onion, chopped
  • 2.5 ounces carrots, chopped
  • 4.5 ounces red peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3.5 ounces bulgur wheat, cooked
  • 5 ounces canned kidney beans, liquid drained
  • 2.5 ounces raw walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, raw
  • Handful of mixed herbs, chopped (parsley, mint, thyme)
  • 2.5 ounces breadcrumbs, plus more for dusting
  • Ground cumin, paprika, salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 slices large heirloom tomato
  • 8 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 8 burger buns
  • Condiments: mustard, ketchup, pickles, hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Wash bulgur in cold water and cook 2 ounces in 4 ounces of water lightly seasoned with salt. Gently simmer and allow the bulgur to absorb the water. Cool this down before proceeding. 
  2. Take all the ingredients and pulse them in a food processor. Do it in 2 to 3 batches so as not to overwhelm the food processor bowl. 
  3. Put on a pair of food-safe plastic gloves and mix the ingredients by hand while seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Weigh out into patties about 7 to 8 ounces at most. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to allow patties to chill and firm.
  5. When ready to cook, dust patties lightly with breadcrumbs. 
  6. Lightly oil a hot grill or grill pan, then place patties on grill to leave marks. Flip with a spatula after about 4 to 5 minutes. Allow to cook a further 5 minutes to cook patties through. 
  7. Transfer them to a rack above the grill or to a 350 F oven for another 5 to 7 minutes to complete cooking. 
  8. Place onto a bun, then top with lettuce, tomato, pickle and your condiment of choice.