Monday, July 5, 2010

Lesson one: When stealing yet another dish idea from a friend, it helps to discuss technique with said friend before going forth all willy-nilly.

Up at the lake this weekend, my friend made delicious eggplant burgers. I saw bits
and pieces of the process, and tasted the final product, so I thought I would give them a try. I'm still looking for more creative veggie dishes to help me in my quest to decrease my meat intake a bit. My friend had created small patties and we'd discussed approaches to making them stick a bit better.

I peeled, chopped and sauteed eggplant with some turmeric, cumin and garlic. Chopped kalamatas joined the party a bit later. I let the eggplant cook until much of it was soft, but there was still some chunks to provide
texture and took a masher to it in order to get the consistency just right. I added an egg and bread crumbs for binding purposes, popped the mixture in the fridge and headed off to a haircut.

Lesson two: Don't be afraid to improvise.

At the grocery store today, they were out of the rolls I like to use for burger buns, but I picked up some small hoagie rolls. So, I could argue that messy burgers were in my plan all along as I really just wanted to cook them and cut them in half to stuff the rolls. I didn't even get that far. My binding technique failed - I'll have to ask what step/ingredient I missed (see lesson one).

But I was suddenly inspired by a flashback to the kebob stands I often frequented in Oxford and Ireland and a new vision for the meal appeared.

I gave up on burgers, dumped the remaining eggplant onto my griddle and let it brown up nice. Then I just scooped into sliced hoagie rolls, topped with a feta sauce (with lemon, dill and greek yogurt - also lifted from said friend...she really needs to contribute to the blog)


  1. How did she make those, we have been talking about them since we got home!! If you get any more details, let me know, I was not paying attention!

  2. Now that I've screwed them up, I'm determine to find out! I'll be sure to update. However...the hoagie approach worked well, great flavor

  3. CHEESE!!!

    My dear friend - you forgot the cheese! The burgers were my first attempt to replicate the 30 second clip that I saw on the Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." Believe it or not, this particular burger was Duff Goldman's pick for the best burger he ever ate: the Farmhouse Veggie Burger from the Farm Cafe in Portland, Oregon (

    While I do think that the egg may have been the missing link, as they were a bit more crumbly than I would have liked, my best recollection of the recipe follows:

    Saute peeled and chopped eggplant in olive oil with salt, pepper, cumin, and a dash of cinnamon. Once the eggplant is cooked thoroughly, add a clove of minced garlic, and cooked through. Then, remove from heat and add a generous handful of shredded cheddar cheese and chopped cilantro. Chill. Once chilled, add enough breadcrumbs to bind the mixture and form into patties. Pan fry in olive oil until brown on both sides.

    This is definitely a work in progress - but I'll take the eggplant version of the veggie burger over Boca any day.