Textural balance and difference is important to every recipe, but especially with veggie burgers. Have you ever had one that’s just plain mushy? If so, it was probably your last until now. This recipe, with sweet potatoes as a lightly sweet binder and base, meaty mushrooms, toothsome walnuts, and al dente quinoa, will change the way you think about veggie burgers.
- 1 3/4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 cup cremini or shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, tops cleaned and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
- 1 cup Basic Quinoa (pages 12-13) or Pilaf-Style Quinoa (page 14)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup cilantro and flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
For the burgers
Place the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water. Add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, weigh out 10 ounces (about 1 cup) and reserve.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, walnuts, shallots, and soy sauce and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are golden brown and the shallots are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sherry vinegar and cook 1 more minute. Stir in the quinoa. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning with soy sauce, vinegar, and pepper.
Place the cooked sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mash them with a fork. Stir in the mushroom mixture, cilantro, and parsley.
Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape them into 5-inch/12.5-centimeter patties.
Wipe out the skillet and coat it lightly with oil. Heat the skillet over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook the patties until deep golden brown on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Serve with any of the suggested accompaniments.
Pickled Pink Onions (page 33)
Sweet and Tangy Roasted Tomatoes (page 27)