Finding a good veggie burger is soo tough, isn't it? Not many places even have them on their menu. During my Masters, I survived on the Wendy's veggie burger, which had a slice of cheese, onions, cucumber and couple of pickles inside a bun, for well more than three months. And it still remains a favorite because of lack of better options around. Except for Burger King I haven't seen a fast food place serve veggie burgers and well, and I haven't seen it at the restaurants I have been too either. The only way you can take a easy route to having a veggie burger is by grabbing a pack of frozen Boca burger patties or veggie patties at the grocery stores and making your own burger at home. I've made my own burger patties at home inspired by the masala burger patty from Trader Joe's and the delectable recipes from Bee & Jai, but I don't make and stock them that often.
So when I went to this local deli near my office and saw that they have a veggie burger with a spicy black bean patty I was shocked! Is that really on their menu?? I just had to try it and was hooked to it. Our team goes there for lunch may be once or twice a month and I have to have it every single time. Its loaded with crunchy grilled vegetables and the bread has the perfect texture. Now the lunches have stopped but my liking for the burger is far from over. A few weeks back my brother suggested I try the frozen black bean burger patties from the grocery store. I haven't liked any frozen patty until now and was skeptical about this one too, but I was wrong this time. Filled with all the fresh vegetables that spring has to over, this is a perfect way to enjoy them. I ate these burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner a few weekends back :))
The main specialty of this deli is they make their own bread. Theres something purely magical about the aroma and flavor of freshly baked bread and these guys have mastered it. They use a hard kaiser roll for this burger and thats what I used. This is how I assemble the Primo burger, highly inspired by the burger served at the deli which goes by the same name. Their rolls are bigger and the burgers are filled with a lot more veggies.
- Snow peas, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Bell peppers (any color), fresh Spinach/bok choy, Onions (optional), Cucumber - no quantities here, you can use as much as you want
- hard Kaiser rolls
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Hummus, ketchup (optional)
- Heat a grill pan or a cast iron pan on medium high heat. Spray some oil and line thin slices (0.5 cm) of zucchini and yellow squash. Cut the bell peppers into thick match sticks and slice the onions. Line them up as well if your pan can accommodate them. Once they brown on one side turn them over and brown the other side too. Cooking on low heat with soften them, which is not what we want here, the veggies need to retain their crunch.
- Boil some water in another pan, salt it and add the snow peas. Blanch them for a minute until the green color brightens up and transfer them on to a plate to drain. Once the veggies are out of the pan/griddle toss the snow peas too and saute for a 1-2 minutes along with the greens.
- Thaw the burger patty, I usually microwave it for a minute and then pat it with a paper towel to absorb the fat coming out of it. Place it on the pan to crisp the exterior. Cut the kaiser rolls in half and toast them on the pan too. I don't find the need to add any oil or butter for the rolls, the initial oil spray will suffice.
- Layer a few slices of zucchini, yellow squash and the greens on the bottom half of the roll, next goes the burger patty a few more slices of zucchini and squash, snow peas and bell peppers. Season the veggie layers with some salt and pepper and top it with the other half of the roll.
This burger does not need any ketchup or hummus but you can surely spread a little of it for a change of taste, try it without them first though. I like the spicy black bean burger for this one since it closely resembles the deli burger, but you can surely try it with any burger patty. I had the burger with a few fresh strawberries and some orange juice for my weekend brunch. (Did you notice that the hungry photographer drank a lil of the juice even before the shoot was over ? :D) Oh, and the deli serves it with some melted provolone slices on top of the veggies, I skipped that part, but you can surely add a cheese of your liking.