As summer peeks through, I'll admit, I tend to get a little giddy like a child on Christmas morning.
I love firing up the grill on a warm summer night. Smoke in the air, bottomless coolers of drinks, good music and a group of close friends.
I can't say for sure, but if I had to choose, cookouts may just be one of my favorite summer pastimes.
To me, a grill is an amazing piece of equipment. Its large and sturdy frame often is stereotyped as being only for meat, but you can grill anything from fruits and vegetables to desserts.
For this recipe, I decided to use the almighty grill and try my hand at gluten-free veggie burgers. I can eat meat with the best of them, but these were such a nice change of pace, that they will most certainly be rotated into my grilling repertoire.
As someone who enjoys grilling so much, it has been difficult mastering the art of a burger only to eat it with a fork and knife.
For this recipe, I went on a quest to find the best gluten free bun and the results were clear: Udi's gluten free buns were soft and sturdy, with a texture no different than the real thing.
With both elbows propped up on the table, kalamata olive hummus oozing out one side, and the crisp, spicy bite from the arugula on top, I was once again able to enjoy the real experience of eating a burger, even though there was no meat anywhere to be found.
Mediterranean Veggie Burgers
Yield: 8 patties
Kalamata olive hummus
115-ounce can unsalted garbanzo beans
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup olive oil
Black pepper to taste
For veggie patties
2 cloves garlic or 1/2 tablespoon, rough chopped
1 large shallot or 1/3 cup, rough chopped
1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed
115-ounce can of garbanzo beans, rinsed
12 ounces cooked brown rice, reserve 6 ounces
3/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1 cup packed raw spinach, rough chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 packages of Udi's gluten-free hamburger buns
2 cups arugula (for garnish)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (for garnish)
Roasted red peppers, for garnish
For hummus: Place garbanzo beans and kalamata olives in a food processor.
Begin pureeing, while adding olive oil. Puree until a smooth consistency is reached, about 3 minutes.
Season with black pepper to taste.
For veggie patties: Roughly chop your garlic and shallot, place in the food processor. Add your rinsed black beans, rinsed garbanzo beans and six ounces of brown rice.
Pulse until they begin to come together, but are not completely smooth. Transfer your mixture to a large bowl. Add the remaining rice and all other ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and form your patties.
You can grill these burgers, or if you so choose, bake them in an oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.
Garnish your burger with a generous amount of the kalamata hummus, a pile of fresh arugula, some crumbles of feta cheese, as many roasted red peppers as you see fit and enjoy!
Green was first diagnosed with gluten intolerances as a teenager. Soon after, she developed a blog to share her struggles and successes of adapting to a gluten free life. Over the years, her passion for wellness has turned into a profession.
A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in New York, she is continually networking with other gluten-free experts and expanding her knowledge. Her goal is to make gluten-free an option for everyone, not just those in need.
Green may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her column is published on the second Wednesday of each month.