Monday, April 07, 2008

Inside Out

Fresh off a day at Yankee Stadium (beer, hot dog, popcorn, you know the drill) and my first long-ish run in awhile (9 miles), I thought my body deserved a healthy meal tonight. Who else to turn to but Heidi Swanson? Fork was off to Brooklyn for dinner with a band mate; a burger was in his future. I knew he'd snicker when I told him the kind of burger I was planning on for my meal: Sprouted Garbanzo Burger. So I spared myself the snickering and told him to have fun with his beef burger.

This recipe is the result of Heidi's experiments to come up with a new kind of bean or lentil burger, since often when you put one of those kinds of burgers on a bun, the burger as a whole is too dry and bready, with too much doughiness and not enough snap, crackle and pop. So she turned the patty into a bun and stuffed that with the good stuff.

You make a hummus-like spread out of chickpeas, eggs and some salt, and then mix that with chopped cilantro, chopped onion, lemon zest, micro sprouts (I used a blend of onion, radish, clover and cabbage sprouts) and whole-grain breadcrumbs. You form this batter into patties and brown them on each side. Slice open, and a burger is born. I filled mine with sliced avocado, more sprouts and a sprinkling of smoky Spanish paprika. Yum.--S

Sprouted Garbanzo Burgers

2 1/2 c sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) OR canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
1/2 t fine-grain sea salt
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
1 onion, chopped
Grated zest of one large lemon
1 c micro sprouts, chopped
1 c toasted (whole-grain) bread crumbs
1 T extra-virgin olive oil

1. If you are using sprouted garbanzos, steam them until just tender, about 10 minutes. If using canned beans, so jump right in and combine the garbanzos, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus.
2. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs, 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 twelve 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.
3. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, 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.

Makes 12 mini burgers.

Recipe courtesy of Super Natural Cooking

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