NFL legend and Hall of Famer Joe Namath teamed up with celebrity chef (and diehard New York Jets fan) Mario Batali to throw the ultimate tailgate—"Jets + Chefs"—at the 2014 New York City Wine & Food Festival. Between the sizzling steaks, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and ice-cold beer, it was one event worth spending a cheat day on. Of course, if you need a health(ier) option for your tailgates this fall, why not try this recipe for Mediterranean Veggie Burgers from one of the participating chefs—Michael Lomonaco of Porter House New York?
Mediterranean Veggie Burgers
(makes 4-6 burgers)
-2 cups lentils
-1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
-1 small red onion, finely chopped
-1 cup shredded zucchini
-4 tbsp olive oil
-1 ½ tbs. Ras el hanout (Moroccan spice mix available in grocery stores)
-1 tbsp harissa (chili paste, readily available or use other hot sauce)
-2 tbsp cornstarch
-Ground black pepper
-4 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
-Favorite burger toppings
1. Add lentils to a sauce pot and cover with water.
2. Boil and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Drain excess liquid and cool lentils completely.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick pan; add mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add onions to pan and cook together for 5-6 minutes until onions are translucent. Remove from heat and cool.
6. In a food processor, combine lentils, mushroom-onion mixture and zucchini and pulse several times to combine.
7. Add ras el hanout, harissa, corn starch, salt and pepper and pulse again once or twice to combine.
8. Transfer mixture to bowl and form mixture into 6-8 burger shaped patties about 1/2" thick; cover and chill 1-2 hours or overnight. The veggie burgers may be frozen at this time for later use.
9. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
10. Working in batches cook veggie burgers until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes per side.
11. Serve on hamburger buns with lettuce and tomato and desired toppings.