Sofrito, depending on where you are, is the base of many many dishes. Typically onion, fat, and a couple of other ingredients, it provides the foundation for other flavors to be layered. For the base of these veggie burgers, I used an Ecuadorian style sofrito, with onion, toasted garlic, tomatoes, cumin, and cilantro. The result is a rich and flavorful veggie burger that can stand up to the grill. I also added oats to provide more structure, since veggie burgers are notorious for falling apart on the grill.
For 4 to 5 burgers
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
2 chipotle pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained, rinsed, and dried on paper towels
1 tablespoon finely chopped canned beets
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg white (optional, to bind)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup oats
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
4 slices white cheddar cheese (optional)
chipotle aioli (recipe below)
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan until very hot but not smoking. Cook the onions and garlic, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10-15 minutes.
Combine all of the ingredients except for the oats and half of the brown rice in food processor. Pulse until combined and slightly broken down (you don’t want mush). In a large bowl, combine the vegetable mixture with the remaining brown rice and oats. Form into four or 5. Veggie burgers have a habit of falling apart a bit, so don’t sweat it if they don’t make it to the pan in one piece. You can always smoosh them together with your spatula and no one will ever know. If you want to help them hold up a bit, let them rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
Heat olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium. Grill burgers for 2 minutes on one side. Turn and top with cheese, and grill for another 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Compile the rest of the toppings onto the bun and enjoy!
INGREDIENTS (CHIPOTLE AIOLI)
1/2 cup mayo
1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce (from the can)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients.