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Great garden burger made out of eggplant and topped with homemade roasted red bell pepper aioli.
For the red pepper aioli:
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Lightly oil the red pepper halves, sprinkle with salt and pepper, place on a cookie sheet. Wrap the garlic clove (skin on) in tin foil and place on the cookie sheet with the bell pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until bell pepper flesh is soft and the skin is dark brown and flaying away from the flesh. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, separate the skin from the flesh of the bell pepper and discard the thin layer of skin. Chop the red pepper flesh. Remove the garlic from the foil, remove the skin and chop finely. Allow red pepper and garlic to cool completely.
While the red pepper is roasting, prepare the aioli. Crack open an egg and separate the egg white from the yolk (save the egg white for a scramble or an omelet later). Place the yolk in a mixing bowl. Add the vinegar and whisk well. Have the grapeseed oil ready, and begin adding the oil a teaspoon at a time, whisking vigorously with each teaspoonful. This is somewhat tedious, requires an arm workout, but you will see results pretty quickly. Once all of the oil is incorporated, the aioli will be thick. Add salt and refrigerate until the red pepper is finished roasting (refrigerating will allow the aioli to thicken more).
In a food processor or blender, add the aioli, red pepper and garlic. Blend very well until there are no more red pepper chunks. Your aioli should be thick and if you would like it thicker, simply refrigerate for a couple of hours. Serve with sweet potato fries, spread on a sandwich or drizzle over a burger.
For the eggplant burgers:
In a food processor or blender, pulse the oats until they are more like a flour but still hold some shape. Set aside.
In a medium-sized skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until the onion is fragrant and just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped eggplant and sauté about 2 minutes until eggplant begins to brown on the outside. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and allow eggplant and onion to cook for about 1 hour, stiring frequently. You will not need to add any liquid.
At about 40 minutes, the eggplant should begin to lose its square form. Using a wooden spoon, you can begin to smash the eggplant so that it becomes mushy. The eggplant is finished when it has no form, is brown and sticky. Add the salt and red pepper flakes to taste and stir. Add the oats and stir to incorporate.
In a different large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Using your hands, separate the eggplant mixture into 3 equal portions. Take 1 portion and form a ball in the palm of your hands, then smash it into a patty. When skillet is hot, place patties into the skillet spaced apart and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes. The “burger” should be browned on either side and should maintain its form, though you’ll need to be a little careful when flipping.
Serve on a toasted bun. Drizzle the red pepper aioli over the “burger” and serve with your favorite toppings, such as tomato, lettuce, pepperoncinis, a slice of cheese, avocado, etc.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!