Our Famous Chickpea and Brown Rice Burgers with Roasted Balsamic Onions

You've probably had these before, in a small Italian restaurant in Carroll Gardens or at a friend's dinner party a few years ago. Guess what? They're still as good as ever, a once ubiquitous dish that has aged as gracefully as the finest balsamic you're gonna be using for this recipe. Cafe Drake HRV has tweaked the original a wee bit and here's how we do it these days: to make 4 servings, begin with two huge yellow onions. Cut into halves horizontally and peel. Place in a shallow casserole dish and drizzle with olive oil, salt and black pepper. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 400 degree F. oven. Flip with a spatula and roast for another 15-20 minutes. Flip back over - this is the last time, we promise - and drizzle very lightly with honey. Roast another 25 minutes or until onions are softened and blackened. Carefully remove onions to a plate, not fretting too much if they fall apart a bit. Immediately sprinkle onions with about 1 T. good balsamic vinegar. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Optional garnishes include minced fresh tarragon, basil, mint or oregano.

Grab Cafe Drake HRV's recipe for chickpea and brown rice burgers in THIS PREVIOUS POST.

Roasted onions and chickpea-brown rice burger, served with tossed salad, toasted baguette and a carrot and tahini dressing/dipping sauce. One day we'll remember to finally write down/estimate measurements for this sauce, based on one served by defunct East Village institution DoJo's. This should help: peel and chop two carrots and throw them in a blender along with a healthy splash each of soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar. Add about 2 T. of minced ginger and 1-2 chopped scallions. Add a little water - maybe 1/4 cup - along with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and around 1/3 cup vegetable oil. Finally stir in 1 T. tahini; though optional, the sesame paste adds a nice creamy texture to the dressing. If you choose to nix the tahini just add an additional T. of oil. Blend until smooth and adjust seasoning as required.

Honestly, we could eat these roasted onions on a bun instead of a burger!

Toasted baguette sliced were gently pressed into the "pan juices" from the roasted onions. This is a technique to file away anytime you're serving toasted bread with roasted meats or veggies. Why waste all that flavor on the bottom of your baking sheet?


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