August is a perfect burger month. Give us salty, crusted beef patties paired with cold tomatoes and silky sweet mayo and we’re in heaven. While we have our coveted collection of recipes from favourite restaurants and cloned fast-food sauces, veggie burgers are welcome in summertime. We enjoy experimenting with veggie and nut patties because we’ve had so many grim ones (Money’s Mushroom cardboard discs, anyone? Bleech). The quest to discover heavenly, healthy concoctions is a good challenge.
Victoria, B.C.’s Rebar doesn’t give out the recipe for their amazing Almond Burger. Ack! So good — their secret recipe almond-veg patty is served on a multi-grain kaiser with fresh salsa, mayo, Dijon, banana peppers, pickle, sprouts, red onion, tomato and Jack or feta cheese if you wish.
Rebar co-chef Jeremy White told the National Post: “It’s got a good bite to it and lots of flavour,” he says. “Basically, it’s a nut burger with a lot of seasonings, similar to a soup or stuffing. There’s cornmeal, eggs, butter, onion, celery and red pepper.”
Those should be enough clues to start experimenting with your own version. If you are game for trying to replicate the famous almond burger at home, do let us know of your results. Given the number of google searches for “rebar almond burger recipe” leading folks to this site, we know there are a legion of you out there looking for the same thing! Shout out if you can make a patty that comes close!
The restaurant does share the recipe for another yummy veg patty as a consolation.
Rebar Mushroom Pecan Burger
From Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook
2 tablespoons (30 mL) vegetable oil
1 diced red onion
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
4 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) red chili flakes
6 cups (1.5 L) sliced cremini mushrooms
2 tablespoons (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) grated carrot
1 cup (250 mL) ground and toasted pecans
2-3 cups (500-750 mL) fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons (30 mL) soy sauce
2 sliced Spanish onions
2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
cracked pepper to taste
1 cup (250 mL) regular, homemade or eggless mayonnaise
4 tablespoons (60 mL) prepared horseradish or, if available, grate fresh horseradish root to taste
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and saute red onion. Turn up the heat and add the garlic, mushrooms, salt, thyme and chili flakes. Stir and saute until the mushrooms have released their juices and the pan begins to dry out. Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar. Let the liquid evaporate, turn the mushrooms out into a large bowl and let cool.
Add the brown rice and grated carrot to the mushrooms; in a food processor pulse the mixture in two or more batches until well combined but coarse in texture. Return to the bowl and add all remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly and season to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. Shape into patties and saute until golden brown.
Before serving, prepare the grilled onions by heating oil in a large skillet and adding the onions and salt. Fry until golden and season with cracked pepper.
Prepare the horseradish mayonnaise. Stir mayonnaise and horseradish until well combined.
Serve hot burgers on your favourite bun with lettuce or sprouts, sliced roma tomatoes, pickle or Dijon mustard. Top with grilled onions.
OTHER FAMOUS VEGGIE BURGERS
Vancouver’s Capers Cafe (now Whole Foods) sold these thick patties in its deli. The beet and carrot mixture gives them the look of ground beef. They don’t taste like meat, but they are bright tasting and delicious. I have served these as mini patties for appetizers. Try to cook them on medium-low heat for a long time. A longer cooking time gives thicker burgers time to transform into something wonderful.
CAPERS CAFE VEGGIE BURGER
(clipped from an ancient Canadian Living as Bryan Adams’ favourite burger. We hoarded this for years before we actually tried it, and now we don’t know how we ever lived without it!)
makes 4 burgers
4 medium carrots
1 small uncooked beet
3/4 cup unsalted mixed nuts
1 tbsp light sesame oil
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
3 oz or 90 grams crumbled tofu, preferably soft, about 3/4 cup
1/3 cup finely chopped mixed sprouts: bean, alfalfa, pea)
2 tsp liquid honey
1 tbsp miso
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp black sesame seeds
pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp vegetable oil
Using a food processor, finely process raw carrots until they resemble pulp. Measure out 1 cup and place in a medium sized bowl. Finely process raw beet until it resembles pulp. Measure out 2 tbsp and add to carrot mix. Process nuts until finely ground but with some texture still remaining. Measure out 3/4 cup and add to carrot mixture.
Heat 1 tsp. sesame oil in a small frying pan over medium low heat. Add onion and cook three to four minutes, or just until onion has softened slightly.
Add remaining 2 tsp sesame oil, onion, tofu, sprouts, honey, miso, garlic, sesame seeds, salt and pepper to carrot mixture. Stir until well mixed. Stir in breadcrumbs. Add a couple more tablespoons if necessary until mixture is firm enough to hold its shape.
Form into four burgers. This burger will fall apart on the bbq unless you have a solid grill to prevent it from falling through the grate. Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan and cook burgers four to five minutes a side, or until golden on the outside and hot inside.
(this was clipped from Bon Appetit’s RSVP section from a reader asking for a California restaurant’s recipe. Very 1980s, no?)
3 15-oz cans garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and mashed or pureed
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 tsp curry power
1/2 tsp vegetable salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
oil for frying
sharp cheddar slices
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 avocados, finely diced
1/2 bunch green leaf lettuce, chopped
Combine beans, onion, parsley, nuts, seeds, curry powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add egg and mix well. Form into eight 3 x 3/4 inch patties.
Pour oil into heavy large skillet to depth of 1/4 inch. Place over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add patties and fry until lightly browned, about four minutes. Turn and fry the other side for four minutes, topping with cheese while the other side cooks.
Drain patties on paper towel.
Lightly spread inside of pitas with mustard. Place patty in each, add tomato, avocado and lettuce. Spoon dressing over filling.
Creamy Herbal Dressing
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp Worchestershire
1/4 tsp vegetable salt
combine in a processor or blender until smooth.