We are not a vegan household by a long shot, but we recognize the value of plant-based eating for the health of ourselves and our planet — and weave vegetarian cuisine into our diet regularly.
Last week, I was caught short with no dinner plan and minimal provisions, so I had to improvise. The results were deliciously healthy, and the dish will now join the regular rotation.
The recipe is versatile — I used chickpeas, but any legume could be substituted — pintos, lentils, navy beans, etc. Ditto the grain; I had some leftover barley from a previous meal, but cooked brown rice, couscous, groats, quinoa or bulgur would be fine. Not a fan of onions? Skip them. Have some fresh herbs or veggies lying around? Chop ‘em up and throw them in. I used a homemade jalapeno hot sauce to season these, but any salsa or preferred condiment is fair game.
Makes 5 patties
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- ¾ cup cooked barley
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno sauce, or your favorite hot sauce, such as Sriracha (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin (or your preferred spice/seasoning)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs or panko
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a medium-sized bowl, add the chickpeas, barley, onion, jalapeno sauce, cumin, salt and pepper.
With an immersion blender, mix until the ingredients are well distributed and the texture is semi-smooth. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a blender or Cuisinart, or go old school with a potato masher.)
Place the mixture in your refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Remove the mixture from the fridge. Place the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Using wet hands, form the patties and dredge them in the bread crumbs.
In a large skillet, heat the oil and pan fry the patties until crisp, golden brown and heated through, about 5 minutes per side.