These veggie burgers are loaded with spring produce and satisfying quinoa. Their dill flavor pairs beautifully with a thick slice of grilled Halloumi cheese and a big dollop of olive tapenade. Choose small, tender fava beans if you can find them, in which case you can leave the skins on. The burgers hold together just fine when treated gently, but I'd recommend making them on the small side and cooking them on the stove as recommended below rather than trying to grill them. —Carolyn Cope
- Serves 6
fresh or frozen fava beans (see note)
chard, center ribs removed
garlic cloves, minced
chopped fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)
large eggs, lightly beaten
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, divided
Halloumi cheese, cut into 6 slices
olive tapenade (purchased is fine)
whole grain rolls
mixed greens, such as frisee and pea shoots
- Place the quinoa in a large bowl and set aside for a few minutes.
- Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Cook the fava beans for two to four minutes, until just tender, and drain thoroughly. If your beans are larger and have tough skins, remove the skins. If they're young and tender, feel free to leave them on. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the beans until they form a chunky puree. It shouldn't be totally smooth, but it should hold together fairly well. Scrape the bean puree into the bowl with the quinoa.
- Drain and dry the pot you used for the fava beans. Over medium heat, warm one tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook the onion without browning until soft, about five minutes.
- Meanwhile, julienne the chard leaves: stack the leaves on top of one another and roll the stack from tip end to stem end into a cigar shape. Then use a large knife to cut thin crosswise slices of the cigar. When you're done you should have nice long, thin ribbons of chard. Add the chard ribbons to the onions along with the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the chard is wilted. Add the contents of the pot to the bowl.
- Add the dill, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper to the bowl, and mix everything together thoroughly. Cover the bowl and chill the mixture for 30 minutes.
- When you're ready to make the burgers, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron or other heavy pan. Scoop up the mixture by palm-sized amounts and form patties with your hands. (You may have more than enough for six burgers.) Cook burgers, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, until nice and brown on the underside, about four minutes. Gently flip and cook until the other side browns and the burgers are cooked through, about four minutes more. If cooking in batches, you may need to add more oil. Place each burger into a roll.
- Cook the Halloumi slices in the pan until browned on both sides and place a slice atop each burger. Top with some olive tapenade and a handful of greens and serve immediately. Extra cooked burgers or uncooked mixture will keep in the fridge for two days.