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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Broiling Point - A Broiled Eggplant Burger that doesn't Pretend

No matter how hard they try, most veggie burgers cannot masquerade as meat. That’s why we love our Test Kitchen’s eggplant burger: It doesn’t try to be something that it’s not. To make the sandwich, thick slices of eggplant are brushed with garlic oil, blasted in the broiler until browned, then stacked with slabs of tomato and sweet onion on a whole-wheat bun anointed with tofu-basil sauce. Whether you’re eating indoors or out, it’s a burger you can sink your teeth into all summer long.

Eggplant Burgers with Tofu-Basil Sauce
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 4 burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 20 minutes 
Total Time: 30 minutes

Eggplant Burgers

  • ½ large eggplant, sliced crosswise into four ¾-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Nonstick pan spray
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 whole-wheat burger buns
  • 1 large tomato, sliced crosswise into four ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 sweet onion (such as a Vidalia or Maui), sliced crosswise into four ½-inch-thick rounds

Tofu-Basil Sauce

  • ⅓ cup silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Salt the eggplant: Place the eggplant slices on a large plate. Use ½ teaspoon of the salt to season both sides of each slice.
  2. Make the tofu-basil sauce: To the bowl of a small food processor, add the tofu, olive oil, rice vinegar, basil and salt. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  3. Make the eggplant burgers: Place the oven rack in the upper-middle position and preheat the broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with nonstick pan spray. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, remaining ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and the pepper. Place the salted eggplant rounds on the prepared baking sheet and brush both sides with the garlic oil. Broil until the eggplant starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Use a metal spatula to turn the eggplant slices over and continue to broil the other side until that side is browned, about 5 minutes longer. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  4. On a clean baking sheet, place the halved burger buns cut side up. Toast under the broiler until the buns are golden, 3 to 5 minutes (watch the buns closely, as broiler intensities vary).
  5. Divide 1 tablespoon of the tofu-basil sauce among the tops of the 4 buns. Place a tomato slice on each bottom bun half, cover with an eggplant slice and top with a few onion rings. Cover each sandwich with the top bun and serve. Calories per Burger: 270; Sodium: 900mg; Total Carbohydrate: 35g; Fiber: 7g; Protein: 7g; Fat: 13g

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