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Pecan & Mushroom Burgers
“Filled with toasted pecans, vinegar-splashed mushrooms and bulgur, these burgers have an earthy, nutty character that pairs perfectly with the luxurious Blue Cheese Sauce.”
⅔ cup bulgur
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup boiling water
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces white or brown mushrooms, stems trimmed, wiped clean and chopped
1½ cups chopped onion, (1 large)
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¾ cup pecan halves
Blue Cheese Sauce, optional (recipe follows)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup fine dry breadcrumbs
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 whole-wheat buns, (optional)
Watercress, for garnish
1Place bulgur and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over, cover and set aside until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Drain in a sieve, pressing out excess liquid.
2Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion and remaining ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Immediately transfer the mixture to a plate and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
3Toast pecans in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
4Prepare Blue Cheese Sauce, if using.
5Combine the vegetable mixture and pecans in a food processor; pulse briefly until coarsely chopped. Add egg and the bulgur; pulse briefly, scraping down the sides if necessary, until the mixture is cohesive but roughly textured. Transfer to a bowl; stir in breadcrumbs and pepper. Mix well.
6With dampened hands, form the mixture into eight ½-inch-thick patties, using about ½ cup for each.
7Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 4 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until evenly browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Meanwhile, split and toast buns, if using, to serve the burgers on. Garnish the burgers with watercress and the cheese sauce, if desired.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 6. Wrap patties individually and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.
Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.