Za’tar Eggplant and Chickpea Burgers

October 07, 2021


This comforting dish is inspired by the ethos of my favorite hometown Mediterranean restaurant, combining Local Roots eggplant with aromatic Levantine spices for a dish similar to falafel. The herbaceous and smokey interior is coated in a crispy Za’atar exterior. While the ratios vary regionally, the flavor
impact is consistently sour, savory, and nutty. You can easily make it with ingredients from your pantry for a fun and easy organic weekend dinner.

Serves: 4


Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant (about 500g in weight)*
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon of cumin
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of Soom tahini via Local Roots
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (½ lemon)
1 tsp of lemon zest
½ tablespoon harissa paste
½ cup chickpeas
¼ cup of chopped parsley
½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
3 tablespoons of za'atar
¼ cup Local Roots feta cheese or vegan feta
¼ cup of olive oil
4 toasted Local Roots burger buns
*Uncooked and chopped eggplant amounts to 5 cups. If you have more or less, adjust the oil andseasoning so that the eggplant is well coated.

Eggplant:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with a Silpat sheet or aluminum foil.
2. Dice eggplant into ½ inch cubes and place on a sheet pan. Toss to coat with olive oil,
cumin, and a few pinches of salt and pepper.
3. Cook for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
The Patties:
4. In a food processor, blend garlic, tahini, harissa paste, lemon juice and zest until smooth.
5. Add eggplant, chickpeas, parsley, smoked paprika, and 1 tablespoon of za’atar and blend. To ensure all ingredients are mixed, pause occasionally to push down ingredients.
6. Once you have a thick paste consistency, add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Fold in feta cheese then make four patty discs by forming with a ⅓ cup.
8. In a castiron pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
9. Put remaining 2 tablespoons of za’atar in a shallow bowl. To bread patties, gently press each patty into za’atar. Pat off excess coating and place into pan.
10. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.Some za’atar will come off while cooking, don’t worry this combines with the oil to make a crispy burger topping.
11. Once burgers are golden and crispy, remove from heat and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Save remaining oil and za’tar seasoning.

Recommended Assembly:
Spoon a layer of tzatziki sauce onto two toasted buns and top with eggplant patty. Add pickled onions, feta cheese, and sliced cucumbers. Finish with a drizzle of leftover za’tar oil for a crunchy flavor boost and enjoy!

Topping Suggestions:
● pickled red onions
● bread and butter pickles
● tzatziki sauce
● sliced cucumbers
● feta cheese

This recipe was created by Local Roots recipe developer Molly Alexander @veganish.molly





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