Love and Olive Oil

Feed Us, Day 3: Eggplant Veggie Burgers

Eggplant Veggie Burgers

I’ll do just about anything to avoid eating a ground-beef burger (with a few exceptions – like In-N-Out!). And so when Emily sent us her summertime burger creation, I knew we had to give it a go (be sure to visit her lovely blog for many more delicious recipes.)

The verdict on these burgers – they have a very good flavor. The texture needs a little work though, they lean towards the mushy side of the spectrum. We added a good bit of panko breadcrumbs, and I’m not sure what else you could add that would ‘beef’ up the texture. Emily suggested maybe brown rice… I’m thinking bulgar?

We topped our burgers with lettuce, fresh tomato, and a bit of goat cheese.

And we made our own buns.

Homemade Burger Buns

Maybe it’s just me, but Whole Foods does not have a great selection of breads. And what they do have is either frozen and expensive or gluten-free. Maybe I missed it? Anyways, much like we were forced to make our own pitas when the store selection was slim, we decided to make our own burger buns.

I followed the recipe here. While I wouldn’t dare call these easy, they were quite good. I’m not sure if I had too much moisture in my dough, they formed some pretty pathetic balls… I’d call them disks. So when we cut them in half each half was a bit thin. Maybe using two buns, one on top, and one on the bottom, for a little more substance.

Homemade buns? Eggplant burgers with goat cheese? I’d call it a successful meal!

Eggplant Veggie Burgers

Makes 6-8 burgers

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5-6 Japanese or Italian eggplants, peeled and cubed
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small zucchini, peeled and grated
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup wheat germ or wheat bran
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 egg, beaten
olive oil
6-8 burger buns, homemade or not :)
goat cheese, crumbled


Place eggplant cubes in a colander suspended over a large bowl, generously sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel.

Meanwhile, drain grated zucchini in a dish towel. Simply gather and squeeze until as much water has been removed as possible. Transfer to a large bowl and season with pepper (easy on the salt, since the eggplant has already been salted).

Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add eggplant and cook approximately 5 minutes. Add a splash of water (1/4 cup or so), and cover. Cook until browned and tender, another 5 minutes or so.

Transfer warm eggplant to food processor, and pulse 2-3 times until just broken down (you don’t want to turn it to liquid.) Add eggplant to zucchini mixture, along with bread crumbs, wheat bran, basil, and beaten egg. Mix well to combine.

Form mixture into patties, approximately the same size as your buns (they will shrink slightly when cooked).

Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in large non-stick skillet. Cook patties, a few at a time, 4-6 minutes per side, or until browned.

Assemble burgers, stacking patties, lettuce, tomato, and topping with crumbled goat cheese.

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  1. A good trick for adding “meatyness” to veggie burgers is to add some dry, quick-cooking oats. As they cook the oats absorb the moisture in the veggies and add a chewy denseness that works really well. I find they work much better than brown rice.

  2. Thanks for writing this.

  3. I agree with you about the bread selection at whole foods, but i think they more than make up for it in other areas. and i like how your homemade buns look, i like smaller buns with my burgers, that way the bread doesn’t overpower the burger and toppings!!

  4. Wow, homemade buns!

    I like the Rudy’s Organic buns, but I often can’t find the wheat version, so I end up having to buy some other whole-grain wheat bun from Kroger.

  5. I agree with you about the Whole Foods basic hamburger and hot dog buns. They’re terrible! They do have a few good buns in the bakery section, mainly their onion rolls etc…but yeah for basic stuff I think they always feel too hard, almost stale in texture. Love the idea of making your own! As for the rest of the bread at Whole Foods, I love it — especially the Seeduction.

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