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Betty’s Wartime Walnut Burger

In 1943, Betty Crocker produced one of the first cookbook leaflets to help women feed their families using only rations. It was titled Your Share, and it was designed to guide homemakers through the process of “making do” with a lot less. It contained recipes for meat substitutes made from cornflakes, oats, and even potatoes. The only one that sounded slightly good to us had the unfortunate name “The Nut Burger.” We’ve tweaked the recipe quite a bit: We added more flavor, replaced the eggs with a bean puree and flaxseeds, and borrowed techniques from other recipes to improve the texture. In the end, we’ve come up with a nice recipe that tastes amazing and feels damn patriotic. I think we’d make Betty proud.
Yields 4 To 6 Small Burgers
Author Annie and Dan Shannon

Ingredients

  • cups raw walnuts
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, or 1½ cups cooked dry cannellini beans
  • 3 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 tablespoon applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup vegan beef broth or vegetable broth we recommend Better Than Bouillon
  • ½ teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 pinches crushed black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking rolled oats
  • ½ red onion diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 to 6 hamburger buns
  • Your favorite hamburger fixings

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, beans, garbanzo bean flour, applesauce, and flaxseed and process into a puree.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the onion powder, thyme, garlic, nutritional yeast, vegan broth, vegan Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Use a spoon to mix in the walnut puree, then mix in the oats, onion, and parsley.
  3. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Using your hands, form the mixture into 4 to 6 patties. They’ll cook better if you don’t make them too thick.
  5. In your favorite cast-iron skillet or favorite frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Working in batches, carefully move the patties to the skillet. Brown on the first side for 1 minute, then carefully flip with a spatula and gently press the patties down. Once the patties are browned on both sides, transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining patties, adding the remaining olive oil to the pan after the first batch.
  6. Toast the hamburger buns while the patties are cooking.
  7. Place one patty on each bun and top your burger with mustard, BBQ sauce, pickles, or whatever your favorite hamburger fixings are.
  8. I recommend trying it with some A.1. steak sauce. Yep, it’s vegan!

Recipe Notes

Excerpted from the book MASTERING THE ART OF VEGAN COOKING by Annie and Dan Shannon. © 2015 by Annie and Dan Shannon. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Life and Style. All rights reserved.