Friday, October 7, 2011

The Triumvirate Pantry Burger

Once again, I just have to say how much I love MoFo.  It's about as much as I love veggie burgers, all ilks.  I almost did an all-veggie-burger theme this year, just to let you know how much I love the veggie burger.  This one is mine, my own, my love, my precious:

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!



  1. Dang girl, you make a mean burger! You are totally, right... We have very similar palates. I never would have thought to use polenta in a burger, and oddly enough I also have a tube of it in my fridge! I bought it intending to make eggplant bolagnaise, but I never got around to it....

    I am bookmarking your blog. It's fabulous!

  2. Your burgers look fantastic. I've never used polenta in a burger.

  3. Thanks, ladies!

    I feel like the polenta really gave the burgers a lovely crispiness which, as we know, can be tricky to develop sometimes in vegan burgers. Sauteeing it first also helped it to be super crispy in the end.

    I never would have added polenta if it wasn't for this party in my pantry. I had that tube sitting in there for months :-) I usually use cooked quinoa to add crispiness and body to tofu burgers, so it is great to have another weapon of vegan crispiness at hand.

    Gotta love MoFo!

    <3 Dawn

  4. Polenta and cranberries?! I never would have thought of that. It sounds so crazy, but looks so good. Also, do you love your TofuXPress? Been thinking about getting one, but don't know if I need another gadget.

  5. Hey Taylor! I put raisins in my "meat"balls,so cranberries didn't seem too far of a stretch for me :-) I love the sweet/savory combo.

    I LOVE the TofuXPress and will never go back. Once I got the XPress, I realized my tofu was NEVER pressing as much as it needed to and all of my tofu recipes improved immediately once I got it. Amazing.

    It takes up very little room if that is a concern :-)

    I just linked to your review of A Taste of Olive in my blog post from tonight, check it out if you are interested!


  6. YUmmy in your tummy! I want to try these!