Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fresh and Juicy Veggie Burger

Prep / Total Time : 1 hour 15 minutes

This veggie-packed burger is made with chickpeas, artichokes, olives, asparagus and quinoa, then topped with melted cheese and marinated mushrooms.

1               head of garlic, halved horizontally
2               tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling and brushing
1/4            cup thinly sliced asparagus
1/3            cup fregola
1               15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1/4            cup chopped marinated artichokes
2               tablespoons chopped pitted Gaeta olives
2               tablespoons chopped scallions
2               tablespoons full-fat plain Greek yogurt
1               tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1               teaspoon chopped basil
1               teaspoon chopped mint
1               teaspoon chopped parsley
2-1/4         cups cooked red or white quinoa
                                 **Freshly ground pepper**
8                slices of scamorza cheese
8                burger buns, toasted
Sun-dried-tomato spread, marinated mushrooms and sliced fresh tomatoes, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375°.
1 .        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.
2 .       Return the water to a boil. Add the fregola and cook until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and let cool slightly.
3 .       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.
4 .       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.

**Suggested Pairing **
Bright, cherry-scented red

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