Sunday we took a trip out to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, just to capture the budding spring flowers on trees and, of course, the beautiful, colorful tulips. We also saw asparagus, which reminded me of my mom’s recipe for asparagus burgers, which is one of my favorite dishes.
Here’s the beautiful purple asparagus plant I spotted on our last leg of hiking at the gardens. These aren’t the type I use in my asparagus burger recipe, though. In fact, I already had plucked my own bunch of green asparagus from the grocery store the day earlier, just to make the burgers.
Purple Asparagus Plant at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Use a deep and wide pan to boil the asparagus if you don’t have a pot especially for these long veggies
Beautiful Asparagues Tips with a Hint of Purple
The above photos are to show how I cook the asparagus in a large, deep pan. I cut off the woody stems and then boil for 20 minutes, or until you can pierce the thickest part with a sharp knife.
Boiled Asparagus in Blender
Add cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to the boiled asparagus
The directions below don’t instruct you to place the boiled, soft asparagus into either a food processor or a very hefty blender, such as this one, but you can. The result will be much more, well, green. You would combine all of the additional ingredients such as bread crumbs and cheese just as you would do by hand, per the instructions below. I actually prefer the resulting texture when they’re done by hand.
Make a whole bunch of burgers with your hands
The uncooked burgers smelled so good when I got up close to take these photos. I did it so you could see the texture of the burgers.
They are lightly fried until golden, about 3-4 minuts on each side. Remember, the asparagus is already cooked. Drain on paper towels.
I don’t really think these ‘burgers’ even need bread, but of course they do make a great sandwich. One friend even told me they would be great to ‘trick’ her kids into eating veggies because they will think it’s actually a burger. I think the trick could even work on husbands, too. They won’t be mad after taking a bite…insha’allah.
Asparagus Veggie Burgers
I grew up with these veggie burgers made confidently by mother, who often interchanged the asparagus with eggplant, depending upon the season. I’m still not exactly sure how she ever came up with the recipe, except that the breadcrumb base is the same one we also use for meatballs. There was no question in her mind whether or not we would eat them up.
8 cloves garlic
12 ounces fresh green asparagus
1 tablespoon dry basil
1 tablespoon dry parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup bread crumbs (unseasoned)
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons lightly flavored oil (olive oil or grape seed oil)
Roughly chop and dice the garlic. Remove the woody stems off of the base of the asparagus. Chop the rest of the asparagus into ½ in. pieces.
In large stockpot or deep dish, boil the cut asparagus in enough water to cover, about 12-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the garlic and all the seasonings and cheese in a large mixing bowl.
When the asparagus is done, drain it and allow to cool. Once cooled, add it to the mixing bowl and then add the egg.
Using your hands, mix and squeeze the asparagus into the eggs, bread crumbs and other ingredients. Shape into patties.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil. Once it is hot, add the patties but do not crowd the pan. If you don’t have enough space, do the frying in two batches.
Fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until very brown on each side. Do not turn more than once on each side.