Being a vegetarian doesn't have to equate with eating bland food. Since marrying Lulu, I've learned many dishes that are just as nutritious (and probably healthier) as meat dishes, without sacrificing flavor. This dish is a shining example. I used a few pantry ingredients such as dried cannellini beans, seasoned croutons and a lot of herbs and prepared white bean burgers.
Pair them with a yogurt sauce and you'll have a delicious meal.
I still haven't heard back from you Amanda O.; please respond to my email so I can get your mailing address as you were the selected winner of first cookbook Haute Potato last week .
Servings: 8 servings
1¼ pounds dried cannellini beans
1 (4.5-ounce) package store-bought seasoned croutons
1 white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, freshly grated
½ teaspoon red chili powder
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
¼ bunch flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon liquid lecithin
½ teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups yogurt sauce
Prepping the white beans: Wash and rinse the beans thoroughly in several water baths (about three times), discarding any that are floating or odd-shaped. Cover and soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pressure cooker (without the lid). Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook until shiny without coloration. Add the beans and water until they're completely covered. Carefully seal the pressure cooker with the lid and lock it. Put it on high heat, then start counting the cooking time after it' begins to steam. At this point you can turn down the heat, but it has to continue steaming or it's not cooking properly. In any case, follow the instructions for your own pressure cooker (depending on which model you may have). Cook for 13-15 minutes total. Remove from the heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes, removing as much steam as possible. Remove the lid (I had to call for help; I'm too weak!). The liquid should have evaporated. Let cool for about 15-20 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, check for doneness. The beans should be soft when gently pressed and crushed between your thumb and index finger. Mash the beans. Note: If necessary, add a little more water and continue cooking until they're soft enough to be mashed.
Prepping the parsley: Blanch (dip for 5 seconds in boiling water then transfer to an ice-cold bath) the parsley, drain thoroughly and pat dry on a paper towels. Coarsely chop.
Preparing the filling:
Place the croutons in a food processor and pulse until they become a fine mill. Set aside.
Lightly oil the bowl of a food processor with a silicone brush. Add the white beans. Coarsely blend until a thick paste is formed. Season with red chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the grated garlic and greens and pulse 3-4 times. Transfer the paste into a bowl.
In a bowl, combine the xanthan gum, 1 teaspoon of oil and liquid lecithin (or one lightly beaten egg with no additional oil, see tips). Add the xanthan gum / lecithin mixture to the puréed beans. The mixture will thicken. Add ground croutons and the mixture to the bean paste. Mix well. Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary.
Heat a large, non-stick pan with the remaining oil. Place mounds of the veggie bean burgers onto the hot pan, using an ice cream scoop. Make sure to space them apart so that they don't touch each other. Lower the heat to medium-high and pan-fry until golden. Using a silicone spatula, flatten the patties and flip them. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side until a golden crust is formed on both sides of the patties. Transfer to a platter. I cooked them in 3 batches.
Serve immediately with yogurt sauce on the side.
Xanthan gum is a fine powder used as a binder and emulsifier. If you look at the list of ingredients for salad dressings and ice cream at the supermarket, you'll find they contain xanthan gum. I use it for texture and as an egg white substitute. You can find it online or in any specialty food store such as Whole Foods.
I use liquid lecithin as an egg yolk substitute. You can also find this online or in specialty food store like Whole Foods. You can replace both the xanthan gum and lecithin with one lightly beaten egg.
You could also store the remaining un-seared veggie patties in the freezer. Chill the patties on a tray (placing little squares of parchment underneath each patty) for about 1 hour in the freezer. Once hardened, stack the patties with the parchment squares between them to prevent them from sticking to each other. Place the stack in a large re-sealable bag (remove as much air as possible from the bag). The burgers can be stored up to 1 month in the freezer. Don't forget to label your food with the date!