May be my mushroom addiction is caused by this never-gonna-end-winter, may be there is something else in the air, but here is the fact – mushrooms became a part of my everyday meals. I marinate them, stir fry, eat raw and turn into a burger too.
Here is the thing. I love all the mushrooms, but I love especially wild mushrooms. When I was about 10 years old and used to spend summer time in the country side with my grandma, the best time was a weekend, when my parents came to visit. On Saturday morning me and my dad used to wake up very early and head towards the woods with a few baskets or buckets. We got pretty lucky with the woods and were always able to pick a ton of different mushrooms. We were back around breakfast time with the buckets and baskets full of gorgeous forest guys. We filled the biggest containers with water and let the harvest soak while we were enjoying our morning meals.
The time has passed, I live in a country where these mushrooms don’t grow (seems like). Our county house had been sold long time ago, my parents have moved to a different area, but luckily there are mushrooms around their current place as well, which they pick up, freeze or dehydrate and..send me!
I recently made some beet burgers, following this recipe by The Sprouted Kitchen. These guys turned out fabulous! Not even me (the biggest beet fan), but even Nathan ate 2 at a time.
So, these mushrooms in my cabinet were keeping my mind busy for a while. You see, they are so precious, so I didn’t want to mess things up. Finally, curiosity won and I decided to give it try. MushrOOm burger.
I used a combination of both: my dried wild mushrooms and fresh cremini/baby bella mushrooms. Also, I cooked rice in a water the dried mushrooms have been soaked to increase the flavour. I used walnuts and lentils for the better texture, but I think beans might be a substitution to lentils and any other nuts – for walnuts, I added 3 dates for nice sweetness. I used one egg, which can be substituted with soaked flax seeds for the vegan version (cheese might be just skipped). I cooked most of burgers in the oven and then grilled a couple to compare the result (grilled ones fell apart, while baked ones held together pretty good). For the sauce, I made avocado-mango mayo, which turned out damn good.
Ingredients for the burgers:
- 1 oz dried wild mushrooms (porcini or any other kind will work)
- 4 cups roughly cut cremini/baby bella mushrooms
- 1/2 green/black lentils
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 cloves of garlic smashed
- 1/4 cup flax meal (ground flax seeds)
- 1/2 cups toasted diced walnuts
- 3 dates
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- 1 cup packed fresh parsley
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp smoked salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- olive oil
1. Start with soaking dried mushrooms in 2,5 cups of boiled water for about 30 mins ( I keep the bowl covered with a plate).
2. Meanwhile rinse and cook lentils and prepare all other ingredients (dice onion, grate carrots and cheese, peel garlic..). Don’t wash mushrooms, since they will soak the water like sponges. Instead, wipe off the dirt gently with a damp kitchen towel.
3. In 30 minutes drain the mushrooms, reserving the water. Rinse the rice, put it in a pot, cover with the reserved from the mushrooms water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 30-40 mins, depending on the rice (don’t overcook the rice, so taste it first after 25 mins since short grain cooks faster).
4. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a big pan and start cooking onion, carrots and garlic till they start to soften, about 5-7 mins. Cut the dried mushrooms and add them to the onion mixture along with fresh mushrooms. Continue to cook for another 10 mins. Add salt and pepper and taste.
5. Once everything is ready, put 1/4 cup of drained lentils, drained rice, ground flaxmeal, walnuts, dates, cheese, egg, parsley into a bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Put the rest of the lentils, onion and mushroom mixture into a big bowl and stir to combine. Add the processed rice mixture to the mushroom mixture and mix well. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 mins.
6. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a big baking sheet with a foil and place the baking rack (I used the cooling rack) on top of it, brush it with oil so the burgers won’t stick to the rack. Bake for about 25 mins.
You may be more lucky with grilling these guys than we were. Grilling definitely adds nice flavour to the earthy mushroom taste, but we found it to be a fail, and our burgers turned into tacos, but were still delicious!
- 1 avocado
- 1 very ripe (preferably champaign/thai kind) mango
- 2 cloves of garlic
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 serrano pepper
- salt/pepper to taste
Pulse garlic and pepper in the food processor a few times. Then add the rest of the ingredients and process till smooth completely.
I’m not a big fan of the buns, especially when it gets to burgers. I served mine in a butter lettuce leaf, with sliced red cabbage and julienned carrots, topped with avocado-mango mayo.
Voila. Happy cook out season!