Ok, team, this is seriously one of my most valuable recipes. I’ve constructed these meat-free burgers numerous times over the past several years, and they seem to be universally enjoyed.
My recipe is a slight modification of a recipe from The Backroom Deli at the Good Food Store in my hometown of Rochester, MN. I worked there for about a year, and the oat pecan burger was a perennial favorite.
Since everything in the Backroom Deli is/was vegan, the original recipe didn’t include any egg. I include egg because I like it, and it helps the patties hold together better on the grill. At the Deli, our patties went through a freezing and baking process that helped them maintain their shape. Since I’m not in the habit of freezing the patties before cooking them, however, I find that the egg helps things along.
So here’s the story:
1 cup of rolled oats*
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
4 teaspoons oil (canola or whatever)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
a pinch of dried sage
*About the oats: If you use quick oats instead of rolled oats, use one-and-a-half cups of quick oats and only 3/4 cup of water. In this case, don’t add the oats until everything else is boiling. Then add the quick oats and turn the heat off immediately.
Yields four or five patties.
Stir together everything except the oats, egg, and the pecans in a saucepan and heat the mixture to a boil. Now add the oats. Reduce heat and simmer until most of the water has been absorbed by the oats. Now wait about a minute before you add the egg and the pecans. Mix in the egg and allow everything to cool for several minutes. Since you’ll most likely form the patties by hand, you want the material to be cool enough to handle.
Form the patties — perhaps coating your hands with a little oil first — and then cook them on the grill or in the oven. Cooking time will depend entirely on the temperature of your grill or oven. I usually plate mine up after no more than ten minutes.
Once your patties are cooked, plop them down on lightly toasted buns and top them with tomato, lettuce, thin-sliced onion, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, or whatever you like! Than smash that stack down so that it’ll fit in your mouth…