In this week's Martin & Sylvia: More Adventures! story, “Burger Night and the No No Bug,” Martin and Sylvia's family is excited about a new offering by a local farm — burger night! They'll have hamburgers and veggie burgers and mushroom burgers and music.
The only problem is that Sylvia doesn't want to go. She doesn't like burgers, she won't know anyone, and she doesn't like the kind of music they will be playing. Daddy asks her if she has ever heard of a “No No Bug.” Daddy tells her the secret of the No No Bug and then they biggest secret of all — No No Bug's favorite food... is "Yes burgers"!
I don't share Sylvia's indifference to burgers. Beef burgers, turkey burgers — they're all “Yes burgers!” to me. But, while I am not a vegetarian, there is a special place in my heart for a really good veggie burger.
While every vegetarian friend I know has a different opinion as to what constitutes a “good” veggie burger, my favorite is a chickpea patty — similar to the one below — that gets served up at one of my favorite local burger joints. Because chickpeas can be dry, they serve it up with tzatziki — a Greek, garlic-y yogurt sauce—and bright purple, tangy, pickled onions.
Try a batch of these for your 4th of July barbecue. Even your devout carnivore friends will enjoy a bite!
(makes 4 patties)
15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
small handful fresh cilantro
6 stems thyme, leaves stripped and stems discarded
juice from ½ lemon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 ear sweet corn
Put everything except the corn into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to blend. You want the chickpeas broken down, but not turned into paste. Transfer the chickpea mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Grill the chickpea patties until they just start to develop char marks—about three minutes per side—being careful to keep small children away from the grill, as the sweet corn will occasionally pop and sputter. Serve on your favorite bun with tzatzaki sauce (see recipe below) and pickled onions.
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
Grate the cucumber on the large side of a box grater. Wrap it up in a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze to remove as much water as possible.
Then, in a large bowl, mix the wrung out cucumber with the yogurt and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. This sauce is best if you make it a day ahead so that the flavors can really meld before you serve it.
About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.