If you’ve known me for long enough, I’m sure you’ve heard me rant about eggplant. Eggplant is one of the few things that I don’t like. I felt guilty about this for a long time because I thought that I had finally met a vegetable that I didn’t like. But then, I learned that biologically-speaking eggplant is a fruit. Sigh of relief.
When I began this blog last February, I decided it was time to fall in love with eggplant. I even went to the store to specifically buy an eggplant, admired it for its artistic beauty, and then promised to welcome it with fresh taste buds. Several eggplant recipes later, I threw in the towel. There was no hope for me and eggplant.
I knew one day the eggplant would come back to haunt me. That day is today. Today I opened my CSA bin to find… an eggplant. I held it up to show Ashley and we both made the “eww” face to each other. We can be such little brats sometimes.
I quickly got to work researching new recipes and came across this one by SusanV on FatFree Vegan. I am happy to report that eggplant tastes just fine when hidden amongst lentils and buried beneath spices. Plus, who doesn’t love a good veggie burger? Serve this with traditional condiments and toppings of your choice – I love spicy mustard, tomato, and sprouts. If you are gluten-free, this patty is amazing in a lettuce or collard wrap.
Yields 6 burgers.
1 large eggplant
3/4 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 small onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 cup cooked lentils
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (spicy or mild)
2 teaspoons potato starch, cornstarch, or arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
Preheat oven to 425 F. Remove the top of the eggplant and cut it in half lengthwise. Place it cut-sides down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon baking mat. Bake for 25 minutes or until the eggplant is completely sunken in and tender. Remove to a shallow dish and allow to cool completely. (You can do this even several days in advance and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.)
Once the eggplant is cool, discard any liquid that has accumulated and scrape the flesh from the peel. Place the pulp in a food processor and pulse a few times to make a coarse puree. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix very well and allow to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon baking mat. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, wipe or spray it with a little pan spray or canola oil. Wet your hands and form eggplant mixture into patties about 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.
Cook three or four at a time until lightly browned and then carefully flip over and brown the other side. Remove with a spatula and place each burger on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until burgers are cooked through.