Walnut Mushroom Burgers
As someone who was a vegetarian for most of my life until very recently, I still really appreciate a good veggie burger. Rather than thinking of them as substitutes trying to be something they're not, I look at veggie burgers as a great way to creatively pack in a lot of vegetables into one dish and celebrate interesting flavors. These walnut-mushroom burgers are a great combination of ingredients we have a lot of in Fall and Winter and they have a really satisfying crunch and richness from the walnuts and meaty umami flavor from the shiitakes. I used acorn flour to help the patties hold their shape and dredged them in puffball mushroom powder to give them a flavorful crust when frying. It was fun to incorporate so many forest flavors, but you could easily use a combination of breadcrumbs and all-purpose flour instead.
- 2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms or other firm mushrooms
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup black walnuts sub European walnuts
- 1 Tbsp miso paste
- 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash sub pumpkin or sweet potato
- 1 egg
- 1 cup acorn flour sub breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp chili powder
- splash of soy sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- If using dried mushrooms, cover with boiling water in a bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Then drain and chop into roughly quarter-inch pieces and sauté in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown.
- Add the garlic and cook until it’s soft and fragrant. Add honey and a splash of soy sauce and remove from the heat to cool down.
- Pound the walnuts and miso in a paste using a molcajete or mortar and pestle. You can also use a food processor but I find the molcajete produces a better texture and is more fun!
- Add the walnut-miso mixture and the butternut squash to the mushrooms in a bowl and mix together along with the spices.
- Mix in the egg and acorn flour and put in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Form the mixture into patties. You can dredge them in acorn flour (or breadcrumbs) for a crispier outside before frying for a couple minutes on each side, until the outside is browned. Keep warm in an oven on low until ready to serve. We served these with microgreens, pickles and homemade ketchup and mustard for a classic burger feel but they are excellent with all kinds of toppings! You can also make a large batch of these ahead of time and freeze to reheat later.