I love making mistakes. Well, mistakes like the couscous mushroom and red pepper burgers I made last night. Yes, it was an accident, but damn if these falafel-like patties aren’t tasty. Being someone who does eat meat, but also loves the nutrition of veggie burgers, I was planning on experimenting with couscous, mushroom and red pepper burgers when I messed up a batch of artichoke hummus.
My blender wasn’t cooperating with me, and the chickpeas were not pulping up as nicely as I wanted them to. So with chunks of chickpea staring me down, I combined the mash, the red peppers and mushrooms I already had cooked, and some couscous hanging out in my fridge. Yes, that’s right, I added leftover couscous to this stuff too. I wanted to use all of these leftovers, and had it turned out terribly—or not at all—all of these foodstuffs would have gone in the trash. Which I hate.
I didn’t use any egg as a binding agent, so these patties were threatening to fall apart in the pan as I cooked them, but they did stay together to the very end. Eaten plainly as a patty these are quite tasty, throw them in a pita with some hummus or ranch dressing, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a dinner.
My ingredients are all eyeballed, but I think this is pretty close.
1 c. Crimini mushrooms, diced
1/3 red pepper, diced
Three large circles of onion (probably ¼ cup), diced
2-3 large cloves garlic
2 c. chickpeas, cooked and drained
1 c. cooked cousous
¼ C. marinated artichoke hearts
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ packet taco seasoning mix
1 tbsp flax powder
1/8- ¼ tsp cumin powder
1 C. breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
1/8- ¼ tsp paprika
Process chickpeas, artichoke hearts, tahini, lemon juice, 1-2 cloves garlic, cumin and paprika until mostly smooth but not perfectly.
Saute onion, red pepper, mushroom and 1 clove garlic in olive oil until nicely browned but just a bit crisp. Add this to the chickpea mash, add the taco seasoning, flax and the couscous. Stir until combined.
Form patties about 3 inches in circumference, 1 in. or less in thickness. Roll these in breadcrumbs and fry in about an inch of hot oil. Cook about 2-5 minutes each side, depending on how well they’re staying apart (seems like a bit more heat helps them stay together).