Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Primo Veggie Burger

Dear foodies,

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.


Ingredients:
  • 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)
Method:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
There, you are all set to have a scrumptious veggie burger now. You will surely love this one! It has soo many veggies with none of the usual onion/lettuce/tomato combo. The kaiser rolls are sturdy enough to hold all of them, and the spiciness in the black bean burger is enough to balance the rest of the veggies. I was cooking with yellow squash for the first time and I really like it. It has a very different flavor from zucchini (well, I thought it was just a yellow colored zucchini until then!!) with a slight peppery or may be jalapeƱo'ish twist to it (!). The grilled veggies are extremely good for munching on their own too, so definitely make extras. They are surely my most favorite part of the burger!

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.

Happy Wednesday!

22 thoughts:

bee said...

burger king in the UK has a killer black bean veggie burger. their veggie burgers in the US are soggy gardenburgers. really sucks being a vegetarian in this country.

Divya Vikram said...

wow..the burger looks gorgeous..We have the masala burgers from trader joes for our in our weekend menu

hetal said...

hey the burger looks soooo yummy!!!!visiting ur blog for the first time,nice blog and nice name,would love to see u on my blog..

TBC said...

Wendy's has a veggie burger?! I had no idea. I thought that Burger King was the only place I could find something vegetarian. Got to check out Wendy's when I can...

Cham said...

The homemade burger is awesome. I feel the Burger king veg burger has a eggy smell even though i am non-veg person, many days i am veg, so i simply go 4 salad :) after each shots did u take a break? Well the juice was disappearing... Great pic Priya!

Priya said...


Bee, many have told me that it used to be worse, but I don't think its any better now. I am glad I can cook a good meal for myself!

Divya, those are soo good na! I don't have a TJ close to my place here, actually there is one 45mins away but I don't have the enthu to drive so far for one store..

Hetal, Welcome and Thank you! I could not get to your blog, is it set to be private ?

TBC, the burger thereis fresh bread with onions, cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, no patty, and ya a slice of cheese. What I like is the simple ingredients in it, very light and refreshing. They might not have it on their menu, but will surely make one if asked for.

Cham,yup, I could not resist the orange juice :)) And ya, I don't like the BK burger either, too eggy and mushroomy for me. I feel lucky to love my salads or I would starve out here!

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hi Priya...
That is a nice burger. Sounds healthy. Looks gorgeous.

sunita said...

Priya, your burger looks gorgeous...wonderful pictures :-)

Sangeeta Sinha said...

Priya, good food and me go together. The recipes you have posted are so mouth watering that I have subscribed to your blog. Do me a favour also....will you visit my site and subscribe via email to my site also? Thanks in advance.

ranji said...

wonderful burger pria..love the presentation and the photos too..sooo tempting:)

Priya said...


Sukanya,Thank you, I love crunchy veggies in it.

Thank you Sunita! Let me know if you try it or have other recipes.

Sangeeta, thank you for dropping by :) I've bookmarked your site. Thank you.

Ranji, thank you. Let me know if you try the combo.

Kalai said...

Being a carnivore, I've never been too enticed by veggie burgers. However, this one just might change my mind. It looks delicious!! :)

Cilantro said...

Hi Priya,
Please check my Blog. I am Happy to pass on Yummy Blog Award to You.

Priya said...


Kalai, thank you :) You must try this burger, may be try it with a NV burger even, its the veggies that shine through :)

Cilantro, Thank you! I am flattered :)

Uma said...

Delicious burger and very well presented.

Suganya said...

Its not going to hurt if I say it again. Your pics are getting better by the day :)

bhags said...

ur pics are amazing and the burger looks all fresh........

Priya said...


Uma, do try this combo if you can :)

Suganya, it means a lot coming from you, I need all the encouragement, cos I realized how much work it is :D Will email you soon with a few Q's :)

Bhags,thank you! Everytime I see your display pic I miss the beaches! :))

Seema said...

Burger looks so yum & filling!! I've had Traders Joes Masala Burgers.. They r quite good..I dont like Burger King Veggie burgers very soggy they r!

Arundathi said...

its definitely easier to be veggie - especially if you live in California (or maybe only if you live in CA). I had a neighborhood place called Alana's which served THE BEST veggie burger. Miss that.
Your photos are lovely!!

Rajitha said...

priya...that burger looks delicious..loved that you have an array of veggies and not just the standard....btw. very nice pic :)

Archana said...

Lovely cooking and innovative with fantastic mouth watering pictures. Btw, I would love for you to post and link back this recipe for my event One Dish Meals - http://www.archanaskitchen.com/2008/uncategorized/monthly-one-dish-event-meals/
Check the event for details.

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