Monday, June 28, 2010

Defiling My Buns with Greek-Style Quinoa Burgers

It’s sick, really.

Completely twisted, nonsensical and, some might say, anti-American.

I spent hours making the perfect light brioche hamburger bun from scratch – activating my yeast like all the good bakers do, letting the dough rise twice, delicately covering them in an egg wash and sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds – and then I went and filled it with a chickpea and quinoa burger.

Topped with tahini dressing.

And arugula.

And caramelized red onions that I didn’t caramelize in butter.

It shouldn’t be all that shocking. I am the girl who only just had her first cheeseburger this past February, and who has only had one cheeseburger slider since that fateful day when time stood still and my heart didn’t know whether to seize up from joy or from an overload of fat.

It was a really really good cheeseburger.

But I’m still not a “burger” girl. I don’t crave them like I crave quinoa. I don’t feel like I’m going to spontaneously combust if I don’t eat a burger at least several times a week like I do with my favorite grain. And when I see a warm golden bun emerging from the oven, I don’t think, “Mmm… that would go great with some cow.” I think, “Mmm… I can’t wait to fill it with quinoa.”

So when I made these light brioche buns for the TasteSpotting Blog a few weekend ago, I did what any girl of my persuasion would do. I fried up a chickpea and quinoa burger to go with it. And my heart seized up with joy.

Greek-Style Quinoa Burger
Adapted from Dishing Up Delights who adapted it from Everyday Food
Makes 1 large patty

½ cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
1 green onion, sliced into thin rings
2 tablespoons quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1 tablespoon beaten egg
¼ cup grated carrot
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt, pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in either a food processor, blender or bowl if blending with an immersion blender. Pulse together until combined but still slightly chunky. Form into a patty. Batter will be sticky, but if it is too hard to work with, refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up.

In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook burgers until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per side.

Tahini Dressing
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 medium garlic clove, roasted
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini or tahini butter
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini and lemon juice. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and then mash in the garlic. Taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.


Esi said...

HOORAY!!! You finally made the burger. Did you love it? I've kind of been craving it again lately. Those buns looks seriously awesome. Nice job!

Nomsnotbombs said...

This looks yummy!

BTW, I had a pretty impressive quinoa panini from the deli at Whole Foods. You should give it a try!

Diana said...

Esi - It surprised me how much it tasted like falafel! In a good way! Next time I think I'll cook it longer so it gets crispier.

Misty - It was delicious! I'll have to try the Whole Foods panini - though I'm pretty picky about my quinoa! ;)

Ashley said...

Sometimes I have Elliott make me a giant batch of black bean burgers so that I can freeze patties for later. Maybe you could slip him this recipe with a little hint hint...?

Anna A. said...

Loving the Greek flava flav you added to this TALF approved burger (and buns!!! you baker, you!). Are you making this again for July 4th, possibly? I want to try this burger!

Marni said...

I am drooling and so impressed! You even made your own hamburger buns? Amazing, Diana!!

Gastronomer said...

That's my Diana! I would not have expected anything but the most wholesome "burger" on your buns.

bagnatic said...

you're the quinoa queen. i've had it only once and in a salad....

Diana said...

Ashley - This Saturday? Sure! But only because you'll be feeding me in return... ;)

Anna - I was waiting for your seal of Greek approval! You should test these bad boys out on some of your fancy breads!

Marni - It was a first and maybe a last! I'm terrified I'd never be able to do it again!

Cathy - Hehe, maybe I'll use one of my frozen buns for something less wholesome just to throw you for a loop!

Amy - Thank you, thank you very much. :)

stuffycheaks said...

You made your own brioche buns? impressive! I wish I had the patience, because this looks really really good, even for a vegetarian burger :)

Nomsnotbombs said...

I assume full responsibility if you hate it :)

Jenn said...

I swear I will make something with quinoa soon. I promise. Cross my heart hope to *not* die stick a needle in my eye. :)

Hyacinth Marius said...

I am craving for burgers this time of the day. I'll ask my husband to make one for me.

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