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Love & Lemons' Game-Changing Veggie Burger

Up your veggie burger game thanks to the duo behind the two-time Saveur Award winning blog Love & Lemons.

 Walnut-Mushroom Veggie Burgers

Husband and wife duo Jeanine and Jack are the creators of the two-time Saveur Award winning blog, Love & Lemons. Cheerful, bright, and full of zest, Jeanine takes an elevated but accessible and fun approach to her recipes. Think tart cherry and mint sorbet and carrot quinoa oatmeal breakfast cookies. Their best-selling book, "The Love & Lemons Cookbook" was released in the spring of 2016. 

We think this veggie burger is the best we’ve ever had… but since tastes are subjective, I’m hoping you at least find this to be “a pretty darn good one.” While I love both chickpea and black bean patties, I didn’t go that route because I don’t love them between bread… they can get a little dense and starchy for my taste.

However, this walnut-mushroom patty — perfect between bread. Chopped up mushrooms create a sort of meaty quality without becoming dry. The walnut-miso paste creates a really rich flavor, and also helps bind the burger together.
 
Since this is an Asian take on a veggie burger, I stirred some sriracha into my ketchup… and not pictured (but delicious with these) are some sliced avocados and a little bit of Japanese-style mayo.
 
Walnut-Mushroom Veggie Burgers
 
Serves: Makes about 6 mini-sliders (serves 2 people)
 
Ingredients:
¼ cup walnuts, toasted
1 tsp. miso paste
Olive oil, for the pan
2 shallots, chopped (about ⅓ cup)
6 oz. mushrooms (mix of cremini & shittakes), chopped small
Splash of soy sauce
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. chinese five spice powder
Splash of mirin (or rice vinegar)
¼ tsp. of honey
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup panko (¼ cup into the mix, ¼ to roll the patties in)
A few teaspoons sesame seeds
6 mini slider buns (soft ones)
Topping options:
Chopped scallions
Sprouts
Sliced avocado
Mayo
Sriracha + ketchup
 
Instructions:
1. Crush the walnuts and miso together to form a chunky paste, using a mortar & pestle if you have one.
 
2. In a medium pan, heat a bit of olive oil. Add the shallots, and let them cook down for about a minute. Add the mushrooms, a splash of soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and five spice powder. Stir together and let cook until the mushrooms are cooked down, about 5-8 minutes. Add a splash of mirin to deglaze the pan. Then add in the walnut-miso paste, and a small drizzle of honey, combining everything together. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Set it aside to cool for a couple of minutes before adding the egg.
 
3. Add the egg and ¼ cup panko, and let the mixture sit in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. While you wait, spread the remaining panko and the sesame seeds (together) on a plate.
 
4. Remove mix from fridge and form into small (approximately 3-inch) patties. Roll each into the panko. Use your hands to firmly press them into shape. This will be a messy process — it's ok if they fall apart a little. If they're falling apart too much, let the patties sit in the fridge for another 10 minutes before you cook them. This will help the egg continue to bind them together.
 
5. Wipe out the pan you were using before, and heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Cook patties for 2-3 minutes per side.
 
Notes:
I prefer these as minis because they hold together better if they're small. For a heartier burger (optional), mix in ¼ cup of pre-cooked brown rice before forming into patties.

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