There's a good argument as to why veggie burgers can be just as satisfying as a good old-fashioned cheeseburger. Don't believe it? Just ask the chef at Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Austin, Texas. Even among the citizens of perhaps the most cattle-driven state in the U.S., there is a deep love for veggie-driven culinary innovation in the burger biz.
From a black bean and corn patty to a Japanese kabocha pumpkin patty made with jalapeño slaw, Tillamook pepper jack cheese, nestled on a bed of cilantro leaves, Hoppdoddy serves up some of the most outstanding options around. And according to Chef Steven Banbury, the burgers' roaring success doesn't have everything to do with ingredients. Just like a hamburger, a good portion of the task of creating a fine veggie burger has to do with how you cook it. So what's the sage advice that Austin-born burger bar chef, Steven Banbury, has to offer? There are three simple tips.
- The grill needs to be screaming out. The internal heat should be at 600 degrees.
- Grill with the lid open once you drop the patties, and this will prevent flame ups and carbon forming on your patty.
- To achieve perfect grill marks, do a quarter-turn on your patty at the two-minute mark. Flip it over after four minutes, then at the six-minute mark, do another quarter turn and add any topping such as cheese or caramelized onions. Finally, at eight minutes, remove from the grill and enjoy.
Are you ready to try these tips out for yourself? Well, thankfully Wide Open Eats was provided with the recipe for this fall's kabocha pumpkin special. Tangy and creamy, this patty has all the mouthfeel you could hope for with even the finest hamburger.
The Great Kabocha Veggie Burger
Yields: 6 patties
1 1/4 cups white beans
1 1/4 cups brown rice
3/4 cups pumpkin purée
1 1/4 cups roasted kabocha
1/3 cup roasted poblano pepper (approx. 1-2 peppers)
1/2 cup roasted shelled pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup whole oats
1/4 cup carrots
1/4 cup zucchini
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 tsp paprika
1/3 tbsp oregano
How to Roast the Vegetables
1. Set oven to broil.
2. Poblano Pepper
Brush poblano peppers with olive oil and place on parchment paper baking sheet. Broil 1-2 minutes on each side and remove from oven. Let peppers cool slightly and then peel away any blistered skin and use a paring knife to cut out the stem.
Also cut a slit down one side of the pepper and use your hands or a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Dice pepper into small ½" pieces and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 375 F.
Remove the top and base of the kabocha. Peel the outside of the squash, removing as little of the orange flesh as possible. Slice into ¼-inch slices.
Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange on a parchment paper-lined sheet. Roast for 7-10 minutes or until kabocha is soft in its center.
5. Pumpkin Seeds
Toss raw pumpkin seeds in olive oil and place on parchment-lined sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly golden.
How to Build the Burger
NEW SPECIALS LAUNCH TODAY! 🎃 Great Kabocha Burger Special (September 6 - 12): Spicy Pumpkin Butter, Jalapeno Coleslaw, Pepper Jack Cheese, Kabocha Patty, Tomato Slice, Cilantro Leaves, Chipotle Mayo, Wheat Bun 🍎 Hot For Teacher Cocktail Special (September 6 - October 3): @titosvodka Fresh Squeezed Granny Smith Apple Juice, Fresh Honeydew Melon Juice, Habanero Simple, Lemon Lime Soda, Lime Wedge
1. Cook brown rice according to package instructions.
2. Drain, rinse, and dry white beans.
3. Using a box grater or food processor, grate zucchini and carrots. Place oats in food processor and pulverize. Add in pumpkin seeds and pulse until coarsely ground. Add cooled roasted peppers and kabocha to food processor with oats mixture and pulse to combine. Place remaining ingredients in food processor and combine until the consistency is sticky, but maintains a shape.
4. When you are ready to shape the burger patties, divide mixture into 6 equal portions and form each portion into a patty about 1-inch thick. Return to the fridge until just before grilling.
5. Set stove to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook patty for 8 minutes on each side.
Hopdoddy's Other Options
So what are the other vegetarian options that Hopdoddy Burger Bar offers? Good question. The vegetarian delights at this burger joint vary from season to season with only the black bean and corn La Bandita staying regularly on the menu.