Reuse, Renew, Reheat, Relish

Indian cocktail buffet leftovers made their way onto several lunch platters recently at Cafe Drake HRV, supplemented above with roast cauliflower, moong dal and brown rice.

Leftover brown rice and dal sat happily in another alongside an eggplant and tomato curry, rassam and pan-fried cabbage with coconut and black mustard seeds.

Cafe Drake HRV's version of St Patty's Day Dinner: Irish "bangers" sausage, tomato salad, recycled fried cabbage and the new kid on the plate, a rich rutabaga gratin.

We've posted numerous veggie burgers on this website over the years, but the Chickpea and Brown Rice Burgers adaptation may be the simplest yet. Earthy and subtle flavors are greatly enhanced with condiments - plum ketchup from The DP Chutney Collective, habanero mustard and the last remains of cocktail buffet raita (spiced yogurt sauce).

The key to frying veggie burgers is to keep the pan's heat at a steady, medium temperature and to use a binding agent to prevent crumbling. Cafe Drake HRV's Chickpea and Brown Rice Burgers: mix about 1 cup of COOKED brown rice with 1 well drained and rinsed can of chickpeas. Mash the two together thoroughly with a fork. Mix in 2 cloves of minced garlic and about 2 T. finely minced onion. Ditto with fresh parsley, 1-2 tablespoons. Add a beaten egg and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well one more time and  - if you have an extra half hour - refrigerate to firm. (This may not be necessary). Pan fry over medium flame in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for 5 minutes per side, turning down the heat if the burgers are browning too quickly. Serve hot, on buns or not.

Leftover roasted veggies reheated and served with slow-simmered black beans and buttermilk cornmeal. Arugula and sprouts supplied our greens fix.

Arugula lingering in the fridge got tossed as a salad once again, reunited with last night's black beans and served as a fresh foil against hearty cheese quesadillas (if you can see them beneath all those veggies).

Remember that buttermilk cornbread? We weren't going to just throw it away; instead we toasted it, drizzled the crispy slices with a chipotle and tomato sauce and FINALLY finished off the arugula remains.


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