Eggplant is one of those ingredients that I tended to always steer away from. It just seemed like zucchini’s weird cousin, that nobody wants to touch. After making this stuffed eggplant from Dishing Up The Dirt and loving it. I realized how wrong I was.
What better way to ease into eating more eggplant than with eggplant burgers? I’ve seen quite a lot of eggplant burger recipes around but they all seemed to overly complicated for me. I didn’t want to bother have to cook the eggplant first then mixing it together with a bunch of other ingredients, just to cook it all again.
Of course, you could just add a few eggplant slices to the grill and use those in a burger but what’s the fun in that?
I love, love, love chia seeds and since they are great at binding, I figured it would work great to use them to coat the eggplant with. The result was surprisingly delicious :) It gives the eggplant burgers a nice crunchy texture.
First things first though. You need to pick out a beautiful eggplant to work with.
How do you choose the perfect eggplant?
- Eggplant skin should be shiny and glossy-
- Eggplant should be firm or almost hard to touch. If you press your finger against the skin, it should indent and spring back.
- The leaves on the stem end should be nice and green. Don’t bother taking an eggplant with brown leaves.
- There should be no shriveling, scarring, cuts, wrinkling or soft spots on the skin of the eggplant.
- Smaller eggplants tend to taste better than larger ones.
- Usually a heavier eggplant taste better.
People often think of eggplant as being very bitter but most of that bitterness comes from eggplants that are past their prime. Look over the list above before you by eggplant to insure you’ll pick out a good one :) Most of the bitterness has been bred out of eggplants nowadays though.
So now that you’ve got your shiny, purple eggplant in your hand, you can start slicing.
I like to take the extra moisture and any bitterness (you never know!) by rubbing both sides of each eggplant slice with some salt and letting it rest on some paper towels for a few minutes.
Then, dip them in your chia seed-coconut flour mixture and fry them :)
You could just add some ketchup to your burger now but that’s just boring. What do we need?
This vegan mayo is the bomb! I feel like I’m in middle school again for saying that but oh well. I’ve made a couple of vegan mayos before but I felt they almost always tasted cashew-y. It took me awhile to find the right cashew-macadamia ratio for this vegan mayo. Once I found it though, there was no going back to a plain cashew-based mayo.
I loved slathering it onto my eggplant burger but it’s also perfect for every imaginable type of sandwich. If you add a bit of hot sauce to it, it’s sooo good!
And another must is the smashed avocado. Avocado seriously makes EVERYTHING taste better.
Oops…forgot to add the lettuce :D
- ⅔ of a cup raw Macadamias
- ⅓ of a cup Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- ⅔ of a cup Water
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- ⅔ cup raw Cashews (see Notes)
- Salt to taste
- Hot Sauce (optional)
- 1 Eggplant (washed, cut into ½ inch slices)
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Flour (or other flour of choice)
- 2 teaspoons Garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons Chia Seeds
- ¼ of a cup cold, unsweetened Almond Milk (or other plant-based milk)
- 5 Gluten-free Burger buns (toasted)
- 1 tablespoons Vegetable Oil of choice (no Olive Oil!)
- 1 Red Onion (sliced)
- 1 Avocado (smashed)
- 2 Tomatoes (sliced)
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or high powdered blender. Blend until smooth.
- Add a few drops of hot sauce to make this a spicy vegan mayo.
- Store in refrigerator, covered, for up to a week.
- Slice the eggplant into ½" slices. Rub each slice with salt. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together chia seeds, coconut flour, and garlic powder. Set aside.
- Rinse eggplant with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Coat each eggplant slice by dipping it in the flour mixture. For a ticker coating, dip in flour mixture then in almond milk, and again in the flour mixture.
- Fry coated eggplant in a pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and let rest on a paper towel for 5 minutes.Repeat until all eggplant slices are cooked.
- Assemble burgers by spreading smashed avocado on the bottom burger bun and the vegan mayo on the top bun. Add two slices of cooked eggplant on top the avocado and top with tomato, onion, and lettuce. Place top bun on top and enjoy!
2) If you don't have any macadamias on hand, then you can also just use cashews. I wouldn't replace them with any other kind of nut though.
3) You don't need to coat your eggplant slices. For a low cal version, grill the eggplant slices.