Veggie burgers can be a hard sell at a cookout, especially if you’re pulling flavorless, colorless frozen patties out of a box. Instead, follow Sesame Burgers and Beer chef/owner Casey Glowacki’s lead and add in some Southwestern soul for a meatless option that’s a hit among carnivores and herbivores alike. “I prefer this burger topped with goat cheese and some heartier vegetables, like grilled mushrooms or zucchini, peppers, and caramelized onions,” the chef says. “Though plenty of our customers order theirs with bacon.”
(Yields 12 burgers)
1 lb. chopped tomatoes
1/2 red onion 2 Tbs. garlic, minced
1 bunch cilantro, to taste Juice from one lime
6 cups black beans, cooked and drained, divided
16 oz. (1 box) dry falafel mix, Tarazi brand preferred
❶ Using a food processor or blender, puree the tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice with 70 percent of the black beans.
❷ Fold in the remaining beans and the falafel mix, and chill for two to three hours. “The mixture might look a little too wet, but the falafel will soak up the liquid,” notes the chef.
❸ Form into approximately eight-ounce patties. Pan-fry them with a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook for four minutes on each side, or until crispy on the outside and warm throughout. “Since all the ingredients can be eaten raw, you don’t have to worry about cooking it to a certain temperature,” Glowacki says. Serve immediately.