Just about everybody loves hummus. It’s become such a staple that grocery stores now stock versions made with red peppers, black beans and even avocado.
So why not take the winning flavors of hummus, in the form of chickpeas, lemon and sesame, and make them into a burger instead of a dip? We love a patty on a bun, don’t we?
That’s exactly what I’ve done, using hearty chickpeas as the base of the burger, and seasoning it with plenty of garlic, lemon and a dash of cumin. Tahini, the sesame paste that gives hummus its nutty flavor, gives it body. Oats and an egg bind it for a patty that is moist.
Veggie burgers are more delicate than their meaty counterparts, so these are baked in the oven. The heat of the oven will seal the exterior and cook them through. You can do them on the grill, too, if you cook them on an oiled, perforated foil and close the lid, so that the grill acts like a big smoky oven.
So patty up some hummus-flavors and pile on the toppings, for a fun meal in a bun.
Makes 6 big burgers
Note: Tahini is sesame paste; find it at the supermarket with ethnic foods. For more uses of the liquid from canned legumes, particularly chickpeas, check out “aquafaba” online; the liquid can serve as an egg replacement. From Robin Asbell.
• 1/2 tsp. olive oil, plus more for your hands
• 2 (15-oz.) cans chickpeas, drained but save the liquid (see Note)
• 3/4 c. rolled oats
• 1 garlic clove
• 1/2 c. tahini (see Note)
• 1 egg
• 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. cumin
• 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
• 2 large green onions, chopped
• 1/2 c. shredded carrot (about half a large carrot)
• 2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
• 6 hamburger buns, toasted
• 6 tbsp. Greek yogurt, optional
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 1 medium avocado, thinly sliced
• 6 slices tomato
• 12 slices peeled cucumber
• 2 c. baby romaine lettuce
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Drain the chickpeas and save the liquids.
In a food processor, place the oats and grind them to a flaky powder, but leave some bits and pieces; it shouldn’t be flour. Dump the oats into a large bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of the bean liquids.
To the processor bowl, add the garlic clove and process to mince. Add half of the chickpeas and process to purée coarsely, then add the tahini, egg, lemon juice, salt and cumin. Process to mix, then scrape into the bowl with the oats.
Add the remaining chickpeas, parsley and green onions to the processor bowl and pulse until the chickpeas are just chunky; don’t purée. Scrape the mixture into the bowl with the oats, and add the carrot and lemon zest. Stir to mix well.
Use a rounded 1/2 cup measure to scoop the burger mixture (it helps if you oil the cup), and knock the mix out onto the parchment-lined pan, leaving 2 inches between portions of chickpea mixture. When all the burgers are scooped, lightly oil your palms and flatten the burgers to about 3/4 inch. If you try to make them thinner, they will break.
Chill the burger patties for at least 1 hour so the oats can absorb the liquids and bind the burgers.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the burgers for 20 minutes, then use a metal spatula to carefully flip each burger and bake for 10 minutes longer. Stir the yogurt and honey together, and smear on the bottom half of the buns. Place an avocado and tomato slice on top of each bun. Cover with the burger, cucumber slices and lettuce, and serve immediately.
Variation: To grill burger, remove the grate from the grill and preheat the gas grill or light the charcoal. When hot, place a sheet of foil over the grate, large enough for all the burgers to fit on top. Pierce the foil in several places and brush generously with oil. Place the grate over the heat. Carefully transfer the chilled burgers to the oiled foil and close the grill. Cook for about 10 minutes, and carefully flip the burgers. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes on the other side.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 500 Fat 21 g Sodium 730 mg
Carbohydrates 63 g Saturated fat 3 g Total sugars 12 g
Protein 19 g Cholesterol 30 mg Dietary fiber 13 g
Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 2 carb, 2 medium-fat protein, 2 fat.
Robin Asbell is a cooking instructor and author of “Big Vegan,” “The Whole Grain Promise” and “Great Bowls of Food.” Find her at robinasbell.com.