There are very few foods I love more than a really good, homemade veggie burger. Bean burgers can be good, but I like burgers that are out of the box. My only problem with veggie burgers is I love to eat them on a bun, with fries. Since many veggie burgers include rice, oats, breadcrumbs or other starch fillers, I feel like it's a carb overload. Lately, I've been wrapping my burgers in iceberg or romaine lettuce cups, and I really enjoy them that way! I also have tried using different things as fries, but nothing compares to a good potato.
So when I stumbled across these burgers out of this cookbook, I instantly put them on the menu. I saw the barley from the photo, but it wasn't until I read the recipe that I saw potatoes are used as a binder. Double the starch, but one potato spread over 4 burgers isn't too bad. I used a mix of cremini, button and shiitake mushrooms, which gave such great flavor. I also topped our burgers with caramelized onions and goat cheese, and a smear of dijon on the lettuce wrap. The barley gave these a nice light chew, the mushrooms were full of flavor, and the potato bound them nicely and gave a creamy texture.
The original recipe calls for keeping the mushrooms sliced and then running them through the food processor, but I don't have that luxury here, so I finely minced mine before cooking. In fact, last night I shrieked for joy when I realized I brought my dutch oven with me. Literally, I'm living on 2 pans and a cookie sheet here (and now, a Dutch oven!)
But it's not all bad, I promise. Since I'm gushing about potato-ey burgers, let me also gush about Potato Country! We are absolutely loving Boise! The greenbelt, parks, restaurants, stores, landscape, weather, it's all perfect and we couldn't be happier. Best of all, my husband feels 100% sure that he made the right choice accepting his residency position and our family is able to spend so much more time together. And dinners together mean more time for me to cook without a 2-year-old tugging on my shorts and someone to hold her back while I take photographs! The blog lives on for at least another year, until the next move :)
A few photos from the greenbelt, the view near our apartment and one of the Boise River, which is really just gorgeous!
Mushroom Burgers with Barley
adapted from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way
1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 oz. button mushrooms
8 oz. cremini mushrooms
4 oz. shiitake mushrooms
1 small yellow onion
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
1 c. cooked barley
Kosher salt and black pepper
Other burger ingredients
Lettuce leaves or Buns
Steam the potato until tender, mash in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil.
Snap the stems off the cremini mushrooms, finely mince and add to the skillet along with the cremini and buttom mushrooms, also finely minced (but you can use the stems, just trim the end)
Finely mince the onion, add to the mushrooms and continue to saute' for 5-10 minutes, until moisture has cooked out and mushrooms are beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add thyme, season with salt and pepper, stir well.
Add balsamic vinegar, turn heat off, use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up mushroom bits off the bottom of the skillet.
Add mushroom mixture and barley to the potato, use a spatula to fold and press.
Use the back of the spatula to press mixture tightly into the bottom of the bowl.
Score into 4 sections, then place bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to solidify a bit (not totally necessary, but helps).
Preheat oven to 375*
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp. olive oil.
Form burgers into patties, then place in the pan.
Brown the first side for about 4-5 minutes, until crisp and brown.
Flip burgers, place pan in the oven (be sure it's oven safe!) and turn burner off.
Cook burgers for about 10-12 minutes, until hot.
Serve with onions, goat cheese and dijon.