This may be our favorite burger ever — it’s definitely at the top of our plant-based burgers list. What makes it so special is its tender texture: it’s got just enough tooth to it, just enough heartiness, that it eats like a beef patty. It’s also got a ton of flavor.
We made it with walnuts, olive oil, shredded cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and a handful of aromatics. The key there is the ratio of starch, fat, and eggs, which creates a cohesive burger that’s easy to form into patties and cooks up nice and firm, so it won’t crumble into dry pieces when you bite into it. The trick is to cook it in very hot oil — very briefly. Watch the bottom edge of that patty, and flip it when you can see that it’s golden brown; it shouldn’t need more than 3 minutes a side.
What you get is a burger that’s crispy on the outside, and soft, moist, and a little chewy on the inside. It’s very nutty of course, but it’s also full of savory depth — the onion’s sweetness, the Tabasco’s bright, vinegar heat, and the Worcestershire’s delightfully funky fermented umami. Stacked on a bun with all your favorite goodies, it’s very satisfying: you will not miss the beef.
Burgers are pretty much the epitome of easy weeknight eating, and these guys are no exception. We use Gelson’s shredded cheese, so the only real prep is chopping up some onion and garlic — the food processor will make short work of those nuts. Roll out the condiments, open a bag of chips and a couple of beers, and your work is done.
- In a medium skillet, heat 2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cumin, and sauté for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, chop the walnuts until they are the consistency of a coarse meal.
- In a large bowl, combine the processed walnuts, cooled onion mixture, mozzarella, cheddar, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Mix until fully combined.
- Using your hands, form the mixture into 8 patties, about ¾” thick and 3” across.
- In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat and gently place 3 patties in the hot oil. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp.
- Repeat step 6 with fresh oil for the remaining patties.
- Serve hot on a bun with your favorite hamburger toppings.