Meatless Monday: Pesto Chickpea Burgers

It’s October.

So here’s the deal.

I know everyone’s ready for pumpkin, apple cider, hot cocoa, and the like.

But I’m not.

And neither is Mother Nature, apparently:

Yeah. HIGH NEAR 100F today. Greetings, October! may we interest you in a sauna?

I wore boots to work on Friday in protest of the heat. Contrary to my super realistic expectations, it didn’t make fall arrive…it just made my feet hurt. So I’m not protesting anymore. I’m embracing the heat. I’m makin’ some burgers.

I’ve made veggie burgers before, and I’ve made chickpea patties before…But this time, I put the 2 together and something magical happened.

I was inspired when I bought these Oven Fries with Olive Oil, Rosemary & Garlic from Alexia Foods…I knew I wanted to eat them with a sandwich or burger, and I wanted it to be something that would complement the herbs in the fries. I decided something with pesto would be best, and I used garbanzo beans because they were what I had on hand. (I’m sure this recipe would be just as delicious with black or white beans!)

The pesto works as a great binder for the burger (no egg or tahini needed for this one!) PLUS, it adds a powerful flavor punch and a pretty (or is it creepy?) green hue.

I used the same pesto recipe from the pasta I made a couple weeks back, but you can make or use whatever pesto you want!

Let summer live on. Make these burgers.

Pesto Chickpea Burgers
makes 4 small patties, or 5 sliders

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) rinsed, drained & skins removed
1/4 cup chopped eggplant (see note below, use whatever you have on hand to add some texture!)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup pesto
water, if needed

Gather about half of the beans in a bowl and coarsely mash. Don’t make it too smooth, but you definitely don’t want to have any fully intact beans. Next, stir in remaining beans, eggplant and rolled oats, being careful not to overmash. Next, add pesto and again stir to combine. If it seems like the mixture is not moist enough, add a tablespoon of water to help everything come together.

Form into 4 equal sized patties.

To cook on stove, heat a small amount of oil on pan at medium-high heat then add burgers. Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve on toasted buns! (I used whole wheat sandwich thins)

I wanted to cook these on the grill to avoid adding more oil than they already had in them (due to the pesto), but I’m not so confident that they wouldn’t fall apart. You could probably bake them successfully too!

Notes: I used eggplant because it was what I had on hand, but this would be great with diced onion, mushrooms, or shredded zucchini. Also, this makes some pretty small burgers…a potato side dish is key to making it a complete meal!

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