Spa Meals: Asparagus Chickpea Burgers

May 30, 2013

It must be Spring, even though it felt like November here in New York over Memorial Day weekend. Bunches of beautiful, fresh, local asparagus are finally starting to pop up at my local farmers market!  My family and I have been enjoying asparagus in a few ways over the past few weeks – roasted and served with a good olive oil, sea salt and pepper; shaved and tossed with a simple spring salad; as well as sautéed in a good veggie burger.  This particular asparagus veggie burger has become a mid-week dinner staple in my home!  It's super quick to make and fun to garnish too! I love this burger served with a touch of melted cheese, mustard, sprouts, and avocado. 

Asparagus Chickpea Burgers
To ensure you get a nice burger that holds together well, use two eggs (or a vegan egg substitute using chia seeds*). Also, before you place the burgers into the pan, make sure it’s nice and hot so you get a great crust.

Serving Size: 4 (~300 calories per patty without bread)

For the burger patties
2 cups chickpeas, cooked or 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup asparagus, roughly chopped (~5-6 medium spears)
1/2 small shallot, diced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, or 2 vegan "eggs" (grab the recipe here!)
handful of baby spinach
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter

For the burger assembly

6 pieces good bread
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
handful of sprouts
4 slices of cheese (I used Swiss)

Better-for-you ingredients
Learn more about the better-for-you ingredients in this recipe:

Asparagus – Asparagus is a good source of vitamin K (helps support bone health), vitamin A (helps support healthy vision), folate (important for pregnant beauties as it helps develop baby’s brain and spinal cord), potassium (good for the kidneys), and selenium, a trace mineral that helps regulate the thyroid for a normal metabolism. Learn more here.

Chickpeas – Chickpeas are a member of the legume family. They are rich in fiber and are a popular source of protein in veggie-centric diets. One serving (1/2 cup) offers ~6g of protein. Chickpeas also offer a good dose of folate, which protects your heart and may help to prevent some birth defects and Alzheimer’s. Learn more here.

Place the shallot and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Toss in the asparagus and allow to cook for ~5 minutes until just tender. Set aside.

Place the cooked chickpeas, Parmesan cheese, spinach, eggs, sesame seeds, asparagus, shallot, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse the mixture until you have a thick, chunky consistency.

Form the mixture into four good-sized patties.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of butter. (I find that a hot pan makes all the difference in the crisp finish on these burgers.) Once the butter has melted, place the patties into the pan. Cook until just browned and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. I found I needed to add just a touch more butter to the skillet when browning the second side of the patties.

I really enjoyed these burgers served on toasted bread with a touch of melted cheese, mustard, sprouts, and avocado. They are also delicious served with a slathering of good ketchup with a salad!