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Fresh and Juicy Veggie Burgers

Fresh and Juicy Veggie Burgers

1 head garlic, halved horizontally

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling and brushing

¼ cup asparagus, thinly sliced

1/3 cup fregola

1 can (15 ounce) chickpeas, drained

¼ cup marinated artichokes, chopped

2 tbsp. Gaeta olives, pitted and chopped

2 tbsp. scallions, chopped

2 tbsp. full-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 tsp. basil, chopped

1 tsp. mint, chopped

1 tsp. parsley, chopped

2 ¼ cups red or white quinoa, cooked

Salt & freshly ground pepper

8 slices scamorza cheese

8 burger buns, toasted

Sun-dried-tomato spread, marinated mushrooms and sliced fresh tomatoes, for serving


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Arrange the garlic halves cut side up on a sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly. Roast until the garlic is very tender, about 1 hour. Let cool, then squeeze the cloves out of their skins into a small bowl and mash to a paste. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Put the asparagus in a strainer, submerge it in the water and cook just until crisp-tender, 2 minutes. Cool the asparagus under running water and pat dry. Return the water to a boil. Add the fregola and cook until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and let cool slightly.
In a food processor, puree the garlic paste, fregola, chickpeas and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil; transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the asparagus, artichokes, olives, scallions, yogurt, lemon juice, herbs and quinoa. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast-iron griddle or skillet and brush with olive oil. Using lightly moistened hands, form the mixture into eight 3-inch patties. Brush the patties with oil and cook over high heat until golden on the bottom, 4 minutes. Flip the patties and top each with a slice of cheese. Reduce the heat to moderate, cover and cook until the patties are heated through and golden on the bottom and the cheese is melted. Set the burgers on the buns and top with sun-dried-tomato spread, marinated mushrooms and sliced tomatoes. Serves: 8.

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