For me, the true test of a good veggie burger is flavor, texture, and sticking power. These Wild Rice Veggie Burgers, which are made with cooked wild rice, various sautéed vegetables, and held together with breadcrumbs, are loaded with all three. Serve with herbed ricotta or drizzle with tahini sauce.
8oz (230 g)whole-milk ricotta
1tablespoonchopped fresh at-leaf parsley
1teaspoondried basil or dried oregano
leavesfrom 1 sprig dill, choppedor ½ teaspoon dried dill
freshly ground black pepper
⅔cup (120 g)wild ricerinsed
4cups (960 mL)vegetable stock, plus ¼ cup (60 mL)
1large yellow onionfinely diced
2celery stalksfinely diced
3carrotspeeled and finely diced
leavesfrom 2 sprigs dillchopped
⅓cup (75 g)tahini paste
½teaspoonground cayenne pepper
1½teaspoonsyellow or Dijon mustard
⅓cup (15 g)bread crumbs
freshly ground black pepper
6regular buns, splitor 16 slider buns
Prepare the Herbed Ricotta: In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, garlic, parsley, basil, and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Prepare the Veggie Burgers: In a large saucepan (with a lid) over high heat, combine the wild rice and 4 cups [960 ml] vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and let cool slightly. Note: I reserved ¼ cup cooking liquid and used this as the remaining broth quantity for the tahini date paste.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and sauté until very soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Remove from the heat and fold in the chopped dill.
In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the tahini, dates, oregano, cayenne, mustard, and remaining ¼ cup [60 mL] vegetable stock and blend until smooth.
Add the tahini-date paste, the bread crumbs, and the sautéed vegetables to the bowl with the wild rice and fold together until combined. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
Using your hands, shape ¼ cup [65 g] of the mixture into a ball and then gently flatten into six full-size patties or 1-inch [25 mm] thick sliders. Transfer the patties to a plate and continue to form patties with the remaining mixture. Cook right away or cover and refrigerate the patties for up to 24 hours.
Cook the burgers: Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium heat. Arrange the patties on the grill, cover, and cook, flipping once, until warmed through, 12 to 15 minutes. If you are making full-size (roughly 6 burgers), it is best to cook these on the stovetop, as they are quite delicate: heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil per burger in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Cook, covered, for 4 minutes on each side or until browned and warmed all the way through.
Place each patty between a bun and top with herbed ricotta. Serve immediately.