Eggplant and Feta Burgers are simply delightful vegetarian patties I enjoy, especially with a serving of fresh and juicy salad. Toasted nuts, cumin, lentils, leeks and garlic bring both flavour and texture together, making it a great meatless alternative.
There is a bit of preparation involved in making my Eggplant and Feta Burgers, but good things come to those who wait. And by good I mean both delicious and healthy! Regardless, the prep is super easy and that great flavour is really worth the wait. You can make a few batches of my burgers and freeze them after baking, they also store well when refrigerated for up 5-6 days.
Eggplant and Feta Burgers hold well together when baked and have a pleasant, meaty, rich texture. They are moist and light, yet satisfying. They could be eaten with or without the bun, and because these babies are baked they are also low in calories! And to keep those calories at bay don’t be tempted to fry Eggplant and Feta Burgers as they will absorb the fat like a sponge absorbs water. I recommend heating in the oven at 180C (356F) for 20 min instead.
As a committed mid-week vegetarian, I have been researching and trying various meat alternatives in recent weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my veggies, but I still miss meat now and again. Bacon is my biggest weakness. To my disappointment, my vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives brand research hasn’t revealed any product I would like to buy again. I haven’t tried that many, true. But there isn’t much choice in this department on our small Guernsey. Maybe we just haven’t found each other yet. Any recommendations from my Guernsey readers?
Meanwhile, I try to produce tasty vegetarian versions of well known dishes with meat in the name, but without actually using the meat. Eggplant and Feta Burgers are 100% vegetarian and taste amazing. The process of putting them together was a bit of a back to basics experience and reminding me about enhancing the flavour with spices and herbs. This is a great article about what you can replace the meat with to keep things vegetarian, yet full of protein and still tasting great. Eggplant, beans, mushrooms and nuts plus earthy, rich and earthy spices like cumin, curry, and of course, lots of herbs you would use to season meat.
Whether you follow the meatless Monday or not these veggie Eggplant and Feta Burgers are a great way to give it a go! What’s next? Meatballs, I guess. Keep tuned!
- 500g eggplant, cut lengthwise into wedges
- 50g yellow lentils, very well drained
- 120g leeks, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 150g feta cheese, crumbled
- 50g fine breadcrumbs (Panko are fine as well)
- 50g walnuts or pecans
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons fresh thyme, leaves only (½ teaspoon if you use dry ones), finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley or coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil or a bit of cooking spray.
- Preheat oven to 180C (356F) and bake the eggplant wedges for 40min on an aluminum foil lined baking tray. Place nuts on a separate tray in the oven and toast them for 5 min.
- Meanwhile set place lentils in plenty of water and leave to boil for 30 min, until soft.
- Remove the nuts from the oven, allow to cool slightly.
- Using a food processor, process nuts, leaks, cumin, thyme, breadcrumbs, feta, 2 tablespoons of parsley and salt for a minute or so until well combined and pour out into a bowl. Reserve.
- When lentils are completely cooked, drain them very well and dab with some kitchen paper to remove even more moisture and then add the lentils into the bowl with breadcrumbs, leaks and feta.
- When eggplant has finished roasting and cooled down completely, using a food processor, process it in batches into small pieces. You don’t want to make a complete mash out of it though. Add it into the bowl with leeks, feta and breadcrumbs.
- Brush a baking tray with a little olive oil.
- Using your hands form patties (as large as the middle of your hand palm will give you about 8 patties) and arrange on the baking tray. Very lightly brush your veggie patties with some oil on the top and bake for about 45 minutes at 180C (356F) or until they start to become golden brown. (Don’t keep them in for much longer than 45 minutes as they’ll start to dry out; broiling might burn them on the top so be cautious.)
- Serve the Eggplant and Feta Burgers with the remaining parsley sprinkled over and some fresh salad.
- Store refrigerated for up 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months, allow to thaw completely in the fridge before reheating in the oven for about 20 min at 180C (356F).