Kale was fun for a while, wasn't it? Everyone raved about their kale chips and kale smoothies for what seemed like months. But then the fuss sort of died down. Out with the kale and in with the...? Well, I'm not sure, rumor has it that collards are the next trendy green. Regardless, the kale train has slowed down everywhere but in my locally sourced organic CSA (community supported agriculture) box. I still get a minimum of one bundle of kale a week. Sometimes two. Two bundles of kale! My god the stuff is good but I'm getting sick of it. I ran out of recipes. I juiced it, blended it, baked it, sauteed it, steamed it, tossed it, you name it. And then I found this recipe somewhere in the depths of the internet and it has been a total game changer.
1 large bundle of kale
Hefty pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup plant-based mayo
Zest of a lemon
Juice of half a lemon
2 large garlic cloves, divided
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup all purpose or gluten free all purpose flour
1 Roma* tomato, seeds and juices removed, reserving only the flesh
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 onion, sliced
1 box baby portabella mushrooms, optional
*Roma tomatoes tend to be less juicy than other tomatoes, which makes it ideal for this recipe.
Derib the kale and place the leafy parts in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and massage with your hands for a minute. Let rest for 15 minutes before rinsing off salt. Saute in a pan with a little olive oil until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
While the kale is cooling dice the smaller of the two garlic cloves and add it to a small bowl along with the vegan mayo, zest of the lemon and the juice from half of it. Refrigerate to allow flavors to marinate.
In a small bowl mix together the almond meal and flour, set aside.
In a food processor add in the tomato flesh, almond butter, remaining garlic clove, coriander and cumin, blend until smooth.
Once the kale has completely cooled squeeze out all the water, this step is crucial, you want the kale to be as dry as possible. Add the kale to the food processor with the tomato mixture and pulse several times until the kale is finally chopped. If the kale mixture is too wet to form into patties add a few tablespoons of the almond flour mixture. If it's too dry add a tiny bit of water. Form each burger into palm-sized patties and coat each side in the almond flour mixture.
Slice the onion and saute in a pan with some oil over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, until completely caramelized, set aside. If you're serving these burgers with sauteed mushrooms quarter them before tossing in a pan with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt over medium heat, saute until tender.
Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan, cook burgers for three minutes per side.
Serve with a dollop of the lemon-mayo sauce, top with caramelized onions and mushrooms.
Makes 4-6 mini burgers
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