For this burger, I found particular inspiration in these two posts:
Taylor's review of a new burger joint in my old hood has this beautiful veggie burger:
LORDY. I'm going to have to give this one a try at some point the next time I go over the bridge.
And, Vegan Family Dinner's Vegan Big Mac, ahumina humina humnina!
Seriously, doesn't this look amazing??
Anyhoo, for tonight's burger I stuck to my pantry theme. I used my fridge pantry, and found the Triumvirate of the Veggie Burger To Be:
Organic extra-firm tofu (being pressed in my TofuXPress!) organic polenta, and swiss chard soaking!
I have been wanting to get rid of that polenta FOREVER, and never got around to it. I prefer making polenta from scratch, but thought I'd use some premade polenta at some point, so I bought on whim it a while ago. It had been in there so long it was actually a little past the due date, but whatever, it's just corn! And, I haven't made tofu in a long time for whatever reason, so that was near it's due date as well.
I thought I could get away with a sort of quicker recipe, but my stupid, foodie brain got to thinking, and before long, it was a double saute AND food processor burger. Oh well.
First, protect your polenta from rogues:
Once you have secured the polenta, start your first saute. Soak/wash your greens (I had Swiss chard, my favorite favorite leafy green, but you can use anything you've got, kale, collards whatev). Press your Fu. While your fu is pressing and your greens are soaking, you can saute your polenta.
Slice your polenta pretty thin and then fry it up in some olive oil until it is crispy, like 10 minutes or so. Then, add about 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, and cook a few more minutes. In the last minute, add a chopped clove of garlic. Total saute time for the polenta is about 15 minutes on medium heat.
It don't have to be pretty. It's going into the burgers, so you just want thin, crispy pieces of polenta.
The swiss chard saute is a standard, just chop the chard into shreds, and saute it in olive oil for a few minutes until it is soft. I added two cloves of garlic for the last two minutes. And about a teaspoon of salt:
Let them cool.
Now, in your food processor, process the tofu with the greens, add a teaspoon or so of soy sauce or Bragg's, and a bit of dijon mustard. Or, you can just add whatever other flavorings you feel like putting in (miso, tahini, whatever). You guys know what you are doing. Whatever you feel like putting in is fair game, intuit your burger! Then process a bit more to incorporate. Dump the processed tofu mixture into a big bowl and stir in the polenta saute:
I knew I had seasoned breadcrumbs in my freezer that I made last month, so I added about 1/2 cup of them to dry things up a bit. Also, there was quite a bit of sage in them, and I wanted a little of that flavor.
See? Chipping away at the freezer, too...
Mix em up well and form into burgers.
An amazing transformation!
I baked them. I just sprayed olive oil on my lined baking sheet and baked them at 400 for 20 minutes, then I sprayed the tops again and flipped them and baked for another 10 minutes. I like my veggie burgers a little crispy.
And thirty minutes hence, the Triumvirate Pantry Burger (haha, the T.P. burger) is born. And he was deeeelicious!