We’ve been watching a new show on the Cooking Channel. My dvr records it on Saturday mornings at 8 am CST and we usually watch it during dinner later in the week. Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen is a nice change from the usual tired reruns. Rachel lives in London and is a classically trained chef. One week she made cauliflower cheeseburgers that looked SO good!
The burgers were made with fresh cauliflower and canned green beans, with the help of some bread crumbs, cheese and seasonings. They looked delicious! For the heck of it I decided to try the recipe out. It wasn’t easy to find, the recipe comes from her cookbook. I did find it on one site however and then had to convert the measurements. Not a huge problem.
I began with the cauliflower, cutting it into florets and steaming them in a covered saucepan with about an inch of water. After about 10 minutes they were fork tender and I drained them.
While the cauliflower steamed I opened the can of green beans, drained them, and added them to the bowl of my food processor. I pulsed them a couple of times and waited for the cauliflower to finish steaming.
With the cauliflower tender, I added it to the bowl of the food processor with the beans and pulsed it 3 or 4 times very quickly. We want good sized chunks, not mush.
Vegetables reduced to smaller pieces I poured them into a bowl and added 1/2 cup of the panko crumbs, cheese, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. I’d toasted the cashews (since I didn’t have any hazelnuts on hand) and chopped them finely. I added them to the bowl as well.
I stirred the ingredients well. The texture was good, with firm pieces of green bean and cauliflower still present. It was kind of a pretty mixture!
With clean hands I formed the mixture into 6 good-sized patties. Rachel had left them fairly thick with blunt sides and I followed her example. Having them fairly flat and even would ensure a good, even sear in the skillet.
Rachel had made the next step look so simple and it wasn’t quite that easy. I brushed the egg white over and around all of the patties then dipped and sprinkled them with the remaining bread crumbs. When lifting them you must be careful as they break into pieces easily.
I set them all on a plate as they were finished so that I could add them to the skillet all at once. I wanted them to cook equally. I added oil to my largest skillet and heated it until the oil was shimmering. I placed the patties in the skillet and let them brown on the first side before flipping.
The patties browned quickly and soon I was flipping and letting them brown on the second side. Since the vegetables were already cooked, I was just basically heating them through, but the browner the outsides, the better they would taste!
I spread mayo on our fresh buns, a slice of tomato, and laid the patties on the buns. They looked like Rachel’s burgers and tasted very interesting! The cauliflower flavor was perhaps the strongest but the cheese and lemon zest added to make the vegetable flavors very light and fresh. The nuts only added some crunch and weren’t really noticeable. They could be left out. Or maybe add some chopped raw celery to the pulses and it would replace the crunch factor.
They were excellent burgers and light enough that we each ate two. Leftover, the burgers were actually good cold, on a bun with the mayo and tomato. They weren’t quite as crispy on the outside any more but definitely still delicious! My only suggestion would be to add more cheese. More cheese is often a good idea.
1 very small head of cauliflower (approx. 2 cups), trimmed and separated into florets
1 can green beans; drained
1 cup panko bread crumbs; divided
1/2 cup cheddar cheese; shredded (I’d add a full cup next time- we like cheese!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (I used dried)
a sprinkling of grated nutmeg
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 tablespoon roasted chopped hazelnuts (I used cashews)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
lettuce or buns
1 medium tomato; sliced
Steam the cauliflower florets for 7– 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cool.
When the cauliflower is cool, put the green beans into a food processor and pulse, then add the cauliflower and pulse lightly. You don’t want to overwork it as the mixture will get sloppy.
Place in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs. Grate 80g/3 ounces of the cheddar and add to the bowl, along with the parsley, nutmeg, lemon zest and nuts. Season with salt and pepper, and form the mix into 6 patties, around 6cm in diameter each, in the palms of your hands.
Lightly whisk the egg white in a bowl, and put the rest of the breadcrumbs on to a plate. Brush each patty all over with egg white and press into the crumbs, making sure they are well covered.
Put the oil into a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. When hot, cook the patties in batches for 3 – 4 minutes on each side, until nice and crisp and golden. Slice the remaining Cheddar and put a slice on top of each patty while in the pan to melt. Place each patty in a lettuce leaf or bun, add a slice of tomato and serve.
Make ahead: freeze these patties on a tray before coating in the egg white and breadcrumbs. Then defrost, coat, and fry in a pan, as above.
Adapted from Penguin