Many cuisines–including that of our own counter-culture–arevegetarian by choice, not necessity. Vegetables are now really in, andparents no longer need resort to specious political morality(“Children in India would love that parsnip”) to persuade theyoung to eat vegetables. We remind ourselves of all this duringSeptember’s garden-vegetable deluge–and honor the chef who makescreative use of the seasonal plenty. Charles Cuningham goes so far as to make fresh vegetables insteadof meat the mainstay of his burgers.
He rounds out the protein contentwith eggs and a peanut sauce. The approach may be untraditional, butit’s honest: unlike most commercial “meat substitutes,”his burgers don’t contain unfamiliar ingredients that have beenstabilized, hydrolized, or amended to retard spoilage. Cunningham prefers to make his recipe in one behemoth patty. Ourtasters preferred it in individual patties, but the choice is yours.You’ll find canned tahini (ground sesame seed paste) in theimported foods section of your market.
Behemoth Burger 3 eggs 4 cups finely diced stale whole-grain bread (about 7 slices) 1 cup finely chopped onion 1 large red or green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped 3/4 cup finely chopped celery 3/4 cup each shredded carrot and zucchini 2 tablespoons tahini or salad oil 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons butter, margarine, or salad oil Peanut sauce (recipe follows) Break eggs into a large bowl and beat to blend. Mix in bread,onion, bell pepper, celery, carrot, zucchini, tahini, soy, and pepper.Divide into 10 to 12 portions; pat firmly into patties about 3/4 inchthick.
Melt butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat.Add 3 or 4 patties at a time and cook, turning once carefully, untilbrowned on both sides. Lift from pan and keep warm until all arecooked. Offer peanut sauce to top individual servings. Makes 4 or 5servings of 2 patties each. Panut sauce.
Stir together 3 tablespoons cream-style peanut butterand 1/3 cup salad oil. Mix in 1/4 cup each soy sauce and sugar, 4teaspoons white vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons mincedgreen onion. Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne to taste. The bizarre name of this slaw requires explanation. Arthur Vinsel(who has already earned our Chefs’ toque) noticed, on a trip fromTijuana to Ensenada, a number of signs with the strange advice No TireBasura. The phrase haunted him until he learned its meaning–Don’tThrow Garbage–and it returned to his mind when he sought a name for asalad that contained a little bit of everything. It’s name refersonly to the diversity of the ingredients, not their quality.
Yo TireBasura Slaw 1 small head (about 1-1/4 lbs.) cabbage 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) 6 medium-size carrots, peeled and thinly sliced 1 large (about 4-in. diameter) mild red or white onion, chopped 1 large red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1 jar (8 oz.) pimiento-stuffed Spanish-style green olives, drainedand sliced 3 tablespoons lime juice 1 teaspoon dry oregano leaves 3/4 cup salad oil 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon each sugar and Dijon mustard Salt and pepper Condiments (suggestions follow) With a sharp knife, finely shred cabbage; you should have 6 cups.In a large bowl, mix together the cabbage, cilantro, carrots, onion,bell pepper, olives, lime juice, and oregano. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, sugar, and mustarduntil sugar is dissolved.
Pour it over the vegetable mixture and mixwell. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or as long asovernight. To serve, mix salad well and season to taste with salt and pepper.Offer 2 or 3 condiments to spoon over individual servings as desired.
Makes 6 to 8 servings. Condiments. Choose 2 or 3 of the following and serve in separatebowls: 1 or 2 small tart green apples (cored, diced, and mixed with 1tablespoon lemon juice to prevent darkening), 1 cup roasted sunflowerseeds, 1 cup dry-roasted peanuts, 1 medium-size cucumber (peeled,seeded, and diced), 1 medium-size zucchini (ends removed and diced), or1/2 cup seeded and diced canned jalapeno peppers. Zucchini is a particularly engulfing crop about now, and anotherrecipe is always welcome when supply so overwhelms demand. BobMartin’s zucchini relish is especially useful in that the zucchiniharvest far outstrips that of cucumbers–the more usual ingredient insuch preparations.
Chef Martin disposes of excess zuchini in a relishthat’s a zesty accompaniment for hamburgers and frankfurters. DillZucchini Relish 6 pounds zucchini (about 24 medium-size) 6 large onions, cut into chunks 4 red Anaheim (California) chilies (about 3/4 lb.), seeded and cutinto chunks 1/2 cup salt Cold water 2 cups white distilled vinegar 1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons each dry mustard and celery seed 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 cup chopped fresh dill Trim and discard zucchini ends; cut zuchini into chunks. In a foodprocessor, chop the zucchini, onions, and chilies, a portion at a time,with on-off bursts until vegetables are evenly chopped but still havesome texture. Or force vegetables through a food chopper fitted with amedium blade. Place chopped vegetables in a large bowl. STir salt into 1 quartcold water until dissolved, then pour over vegetables.
Add enough coldwater just to cover vegetables. Cover and let stand 4 hours orrefrigerate as long as overnight. Drain vegetables, rinse under running water, and drain well again.In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard, celery seed,garlic, and dill. Stir in zucchini mixture and bring to a boil overmedium-high heat, stirring constantly. Lower heat; simmer, stirringoften, until reduced to 4 quarts, about 20 minutes. Ladle hot relish to within 1/4 inch of rims of 8 hot, sterlizedpint-size jars.
Wipe rims clean and top with sterilized lids; adjustbands. Set jars on a rack in a canning kettle, cover with boilingwater, and process in a simmering water bath for 15 minutes. Let standon a cloth to cool. Press each lid to test seal. If lid pops up, jaris not sealed; store unsealed jars in refrigerator. Makes 8 pints.