“I hate veggie burgers with a passion,” says chef Edward Lee, of Louisville’s Whiskey Dry. Instead of creating a ground patty of beans, grains and vegetables that replicates the look and texture of meat, Lee serves this gorgeous ratatouille-inspired “burger” of colorful roasted vegetables layered with melty cheese. “It looks like a slice of a rainbow,” he says.Slideshow:More Veggie Burger Recipes
1 medium eggplant, cut into eight 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium zucchini, sliced on a mandoline 1 / 8 inch thick
1 large red beet, peeled and sliced on a mandoline 1 / 8 inch thick
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced on a mandoline 1 / 8 inch thick
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 dried apricots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
8 slices of Muenster cheese
4 poppy seed buns, split and toasted
Red-leaf romaine lettuce leaves or mixed baby greens and sliced dill pickles, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400° and line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with foil. On opposite ends of 1 baking sheet, separately toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the zucchini with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the eggplant and zucchini with salt and pepper and spread each vegetable in a single layer. On opposite ends of the second baking sheet, separately toss the beet and the sweet potato each with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and spread in a single layer. Roast all of the vegetables until tender, about 10 minutes for the zucchini and about 25 minutes for the remaining vegetables; rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking. Let the vegetables cool slightly. Keep the oven on.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the carrots, onion, apricots and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and 3/4 cup of water and simmer over moderately low heat until the carrots are very tender, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar, fish sauce, Worcestershire, soy sauce, ground ginger and fennel. Scrape into a blender and let cool slightly. Puree until very smooth, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce, if necessary. Season the carrot ketchup with salt and pepper.
On a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, make 4 stacks of 2 eggplant slices. Top each with 1 cheese slice, 4 to 6 slices each of the sweet potato and beet, the remaining cheese and 4 to 6 zucchini slices. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the veggie burgers are heated through.
Place the burgers on the bottom buns and top with lettuce and pickles. Spread the carrot ketchup on the top buns, close the burgers and serve.
The carrot ketchup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
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