Millet Sunflower Burgers

Millet Sunflower burgers were an experiment in recipe recall, having originally followed instructions 20 years ago from Ten Talents, a now long lost 7th Day Adventist cookbook much treasured during Cafe Drake's strict vegetarian days of yore. Below is my rendition which may have little to do with the original but is certainly tasty, chocked full of non-animal protein and perfect as either a side dish or entree. Sunflower butter can be found at some large supermarkets, most natural foods stores and Trader Joe's.

Begin by dry-toasting 1 cup of millet in a saucepan; do this over a low flame for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently so as not to scorch the grain. Add a pinch or two of salt and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a low simmer, basically the same procedure as cooking rice. Cook until all the water has evaporated and most of the millet grains are soft. Some grains will remain a bit crunchy and the entire procedure should take no more than 30 minutes. Set aside until needed or cool and refrigerate until assembling the burgers.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cooked millet (it will be somewhat mushy-crunchy and this is perfect) with 1/3 -1/2 cup of sunflower seed butter. Add at least a T. of soy sauce and salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Dried thyme and sage are also interesting. Mix very well until you can roll the mixture into one large ball. If the millet is too sticky and soft, refrigerate for an hour and it should firm up nicely.

Make individual patties of the millet and shallow fry over medium heat in vegetable oil, about 5 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crisp on top. Drain on paper towels and serve hot. Above, Cafe Drake partnered the burgers with collard greens and a spicy carrot salad (grated carrots, olive oil, harissa paste, lemon juice, green chilies, parsley and onions).


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