Ultimate Veggie Burger
Veggie burgers are not easy to make awesome, but we think this one nails it. We solved the “mush” factor by folding in bouncy mushrooms and pleasantly firm black beans, threw a hard sear on it for crisp texture on the outside, and seasoned it aggressively to combat any blandness. There’s no imitation protein or weird ingredients, just a rich, moist mixture of vegetables, grains, and nuts that work with any toppings you want to throw at it. It may not be vegan, but it’s pretty darn good.
- ¼ cup pearl barley
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 14.5-ounce can black beans, drained
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ cup unsalted, roasted cashews
- 1 tablespoon old-fashioned oats
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon miso
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar (about 2 ounces)
- ¼ cup Cotija cheese or Greek feta, finely crumbled (about 1 ounce)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 slices cheese, such as American or cheddar (optional)
- 6 seeded hamburger buns, lightly toasted
- Special Sauce, bread-and-butter pickles, torn lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and Dijon mustard (for serving)
Preheat oven to 350°. Cook barley in a small pot of boiling salted water until very tender, 40–50 minutes. Drain; let cool.
Meanwhile, chop mushrooms into ¼”–½” pieces. Arrange in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast until mushrooms have lost half of their volume and are tender, 12–15 minutes. This step is essential—it removes much of the excess liquid from the mushrooms, which would lead to a mushy patty. Let cool.
Spread beans on another large rimmed baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until most of them have split open and look dry around the edges, 8–10 minutes. The beans are an essential addition for binding the patty, and add protein. Let cool.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium. Cook onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until soft, 8–10 minutes. Let cool. Pulse cashews and oats in a food processor until finely chopped.
Whisk mayonnaise, egg yolk, miso, chili powder, agave, paprika, and cayenne in a large bowl. Add cooled barley, mushrooms, beans, onion mixture, and cashew mixture. Mash with a potato masher until mixture is well blended and sticky, about 2 minutes. Transfer one-quarter of the mixture to food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Return to bowl with remaining patty blend. Stir in cheddar and Cotija cheese; season with salt and pepper. Form mixture into 6 patties (lightly oiling your hands will prevent it from sticking).
Do Ahead: Patties can be made 2 days ahead; wrap tightly and chill. Or, freeze in a single layer, then wrap tightly up to 3 months. Thaw before cooking.
Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Working in batches, cook patties until dark brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Place cheese slices over burgers, if using; cover and cook just long enough for cheese to melt, about 1 minute. Serve on buns with your choice of toppings.
From Bon Appétit