There is something completely satisfying about making veggie burgers from scratch. While I do (usually) have a box of frozen veggie burgers on hand for a quick, no-fuss dinner, many of the store bought burger varieties contain some not-so-wonderful ingredients.
When you make your own though, you have the freedom to pick any flavor you like: Mexican, Indian, Cajun, Italian... the possibilities are endless, and YOU get to control exactly what goes in them.
So when I saw this recipe for "OLIVE LENTIL BURGERS' on the Post Punk Kitchen Blog, I was immediately intrigued. That, and I had a lovely container of fresh kalamata olives left over from making Artichoke Olive Salsa for New Year's!
These were DELICIOUS! The salty brine of the olives mixed with the meaty texture of the mushrooms made a perfect match. For the mushrooms, I actually used a 50 gram bag of dried shiitakes that I had picked up at Job Lot for $2.00. They were already finely chopped and just needed to be re-hydrated. I wasn't really sure how much re-hydrated shiitake I as going to end up with, so I soaked the whole bag and figured I'd hope for the best.
The amount ended up being perfect, and the substitution was perfect because the shiitakes added a wonderful smokey flavor. After they were well soaked, I drained and then added them to the already sautéing onion, garlic and spices, just to heat them through and let the flavors combine.
One thing I also really liked about this recipe was the addition of dried tarragon. I do have a small plastic bag of the spice, but I don't really come across too many opportunities to use it. To me, tarragon has a licorice and slightly minty flavor. The flavors of dried tarragon are quite strong, but the 1/4 tsp called for in this recipe, gives the perfect subtle hint. I might be able to use up that bag after all!
I did end up baking the burgers in the oven about 15 minutes longer than stated, so about 45 minutes total. I served them on toasted wheat bread with some romaine lettuce leaves and some Guacamame from Appetite for Reduction. More on Guacamame to come!