I recently stumbled upon Lukas Volger’s Veggie Burgers Every Which Way: Fresh, Flavorful & Healthy Vegan & Vegetarian Burgers Plus Toppings, Sides, Buns & More.
Despite the ridiculously long subtitle, the cookbook is small, focused, and filled with appetizing photos. I’m serious. Volger’s patties — from his Sweet Potato Burger with Lentils and Kale to his Chipotle Black Bean — look nothing like the frozen discs you find in the veggie burger section at the grocery. I couldn’t decide which one to make first!
Ultimately I settled on Spinach-Chickpea Burgers, in part because I thought I could make smaller, crab-cake-sized patties and “sell” them to The Professor as being “like falafel.”
And well … err …
My Spinach-Chickpea cakes could have used more garlic (which the original recipe didn’t even call for!), but flavor wasn’t really the problem. They were just a bit or maybe a lot dry. An aioli I made for The Professor and a spicy yogurt sauce I mixed up for myself helped, but didn’t change the basic problem. They were dry — in part because the smaller patties needed less cooking than the 4-inch burgers the recipe called for, but how much less I wasn’t sure.
“I think it’s worth trying again,” The Professor kindly said as he helped clear the table. “Though maybe make the patties a bit bigger next time.”
I will make the Spinach-Chickpea Burgers again, and I will make them bigger.
In fact, I’m thinking about instituting a weekly “burger night” over the summer, so that I can try all of the recipes from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way that I’ve tagged. Armenian Lentil Burgers. Thai Carrot Burgers. Beet and Brown Rice Burgers. And more. Maybe I’m just experiencing a heat-induced burger fetish. Maybe The Professor will put his foot down. But that’s my plan.
I’m also adding Lukas Volger’s web site to my blog roll. He’s someone I need to be reading regularly, as he writes about more than burgers. His about-to-be-published book is called Vegetarian Entrees that Won’t Leave You Hungry. And it sounds right up my alley.