We are embracing in meatless Monday with these Greek roasted cauliflower burgers!
Which come loaded with pan-fried feta, tomato and olive salsa, and tzatzki. What can I say? You guys know I like my burgers piled high and this veggie burger is no exception.
This is probably one of my favorite veggie burgers to date. I mean, did I mention there’s pan-fried feta cheese? That alone should have you SOLD.
Alright, alright, but in all seriousness, these burgers are healthy, yet flavorful and surprisingly easy to make. And while I don’t recommend grilling these, they’re still the perfect summertime veggie burger. Which speaking of summertime, how was everyone’s weekend? This weekend could not have been more beautiful weather wise. We had sunny skies and highs in the seventies and while I was stuck inside working most of the time (so backed up on what I like to call “computer work”), I snuck out for a bit on Saturday to pick some lilacs with Asher in the late evening sunshine. It was perfection.
I’m hoping you guys had a much more eventful weekend, and maybe even made some margarita popsicles?! If you didn’t those should probably be on your to-do list for this coming weekend. <–dad would love them for Father’s Day. Just sayin’.
OK, but these burgers. Are they too much? I know there’s of a lot going on, but hey, isn’t that kind of true HBH style? Loaded recipes with lots happening and plenty of deliciousness. I mean, right?
Here’s the deal. Originally this burger started out as a simple cauliflower burger with some tzatziki (FYI I absolutely hate spelling tzatziki…least favorite word to spell at the moment), but as I was building the burger it just felt kind of boring. Sure the patties were delicious and can totally be eaten as is, but I wanted to take the burger from really good, to really freaking amazing.
SO, I opened the fridge, saw the feta and then it hit me.
Um, duh, FRIED FETA cheese! It is a Greek inspired burger after all, and Greek recipes are just better with feta. Tell me, what’s not made better with feta?
The burgers are a mix up of cauliflower, walnuts, quinoa, herbs, and spices. I used an egg to bind them together and that was it! I will say that you have to be gentle while cooking these burgers because they are delicate and don’t fully firm up until they have cooled slightly after cooking. As long as you are aware of that, and are careful when handling them, you’ll be good to go! I know it’s kind of a pain, but trust me, these burgers are worth it!
PS. the leftover patties are SO good crumbled over a salad or placed into a hard shell taco. Yum and YUM!
To make handling the burgers easier, stick them in the fridge or freezer for a bit before cooking. If you’re short on time, you can skip this, but chilling them makes them a million times easier to cook. Plus, while they patties chill, I like to make the tomato salsa, which is simply cherry tomatoes, olives, basil, salt and pepper. Simplicity is key when it comes to tomatoes.
Then just cook up the burgers in a skillet, pan fry the feta (it’s super easy!) and assemble. You can use homemade tzatziki, store-bought (I’ve heard great things about Trader Joe’s tzatziki) or just plain greek yogurt. I decided to grill/toast whole grain bread to keep the burgers on the lighter side, and I ended up loving the less bready feel and the crunch from the edges of the bread.
Be sure not to skip the feta. Honestly, the fried cheese is everything. Of course the burger is delicious, and the tomato salsa is the perfect topping, but the cheese is the game changer. If I were you, I’d double the amount of feta…but then I am just slightly obsessed with cheese.
OH, and if you run into the issue of stacking things too high…which I clearly did, just leave the top piece of bread off and eat this open-faced. You could even dive into it with a fork and knife. But come on, it’s summer have some fun…embrace the messy burger.
Greek Roasted Cauliflower Burgers with Pan Fried Feta and Tomato Olive Salad
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 6 ounces feta cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- 6 pieces whole grain bread, toasted
- Tzatziki or yogurt, lettuce, and cucumber, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
2. On a baking sheet, toss together the cauliflower, 2 tablespoons olive oil, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Add the walnuts, toss, and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Remove and let cool.
3. Add the cauliflower and walnuts to a food processor with the egg and quinoa. Pulse until combined. Pat the mixture into 6 even patties. The mixture will be sticky. If time allows, place in the fridge to chill, at least one hour or in the freezer for 15 minutes to make them easier to handle.
4. Meanwhile, make the salsa. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, 2 tablespoons olive oil, basil, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt.
5. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add about a drizzle of olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add 2-3 patties at a time and cook until lightly browned, about 5-8 minutes, flip and cook another 5-8 minutes or until firm. Repeat with the remaining patties. Note: these burgers are delicate, be careful when flipping.
6. In the same skillet, add another drizzle of olive oil. Add the feta slices and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, flip and cook until browned, about 1 minute.
7. To serve, spread each piece of bread with Tzatziki. Add the burger, fried feta, salsa, and cucumber. Add the top piece of bread. EAT.
*If you are having trouble frying these I recommend one, either forming them into small, slider size patties for easier flipping OR two, baking then in a 400 degrees oven for 35-45 minutes or until firm and crisp, flipping them halfway through cooking. Allow the patties to sit 5-10 minutes before assembling the burgers.
It’s worth it!