Building Better (Veggie) Burgers + Blackened Broccoli

Maybe its' all those burgers in 70's fern bars/restaurants but we're a sucker for a bun crafted from a toasted English muffin. Whole grain even better. Cafe Drake HRV is also partial to the classic combo of mayo and mustard spread over opposite halves.

Veggie Burger on Whole Wheat English Muffin, Mesclun Salad with Creamy Pumpkin Seed Dressing, Crisp Pan-Fried Jerusalem Artichokes (a wittier and tastier alternative to potato chips) and Blackened Broccoli. Blackening veggies requires not a lot but some precision and attention to detail. Any effort extended is immediately justified upon biting into a chewy, smokey bit of charred goodness. Our method for blackened broccoli begins with slicing 1 large head of broccoli into long spears. As much as possible, keep florets attached to stalks and make sure the pieces are only about 1/2" thick. (See photo above, upper left of plate.) Place an iron skillet - or another heavy-bottomed skillet - over high heat. Once the pan is very hot drizzle in about 3 T. vegetable, peanut or grapeseed oil. Swirl to coat the pan. Be sure to first grab a pot holder if you're using an iron skillet! Place the broccoli on the skillet, ideally in one single layer. Sprinkle with salt to taste and sear for one minute on high heat. Flip the broccoli spears and cook for another 30-45 seconds on the other side. You may want to press the spears with a spatula to blacken further. Remove from heat and sprinkle lightly with lemon juice and black pepper.

For a change of pace we tried the recipe found here on the No Meat Athlete blog. One of the best veggie burgers EVER, in large part thanks to a dense and chewy texture more akin than most to its beefy counterparts.


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