Part-skim ricotta cheese is the star of a tasty meatless cheesy oat burger patty that looks almost like a turkey burger, but tastes more like an Italian-inspired fried cheese appetizer. Photo by: Melissa d'Arabian via AP
October 11, 2017 10:50:19 AM
As much as I love a juicy beef burger, I've become a little obsessed with creating veggie burgers that step in and satisfy without any meat.
Usual standby ingredients include nuts, seeds, lentils, mushrooms, tofu and of course, the ubiquitous black bean. Often, I'm aiming for texture and heft and umami. If I'm honest, I'm looking for a swap to fool my palate into thinking I've just had meat. That's not a bad goal, but today's recipe goes a whole different direction. And that direction is: cheese. Yep, I made a burger whose main ingredient is cheese, and my whole family rejoiced.
Part-skim ricotta cheese is the star of this tasty patty that looks almost like a turkey burger, but tastes more like an Italian-inspired fried cheese appetizer. Using part-skim ricotta removes much of the fat and calories of whole-milk ricotta while still keeping the cheese and yum factor in check.
Whole oats give the patty structure (and healthy fiber) and egg white quietly keeps the patty together so that it cooks up sturdier than many bean burgers (don't let the sticky raw mixture fool you).
Minced shallot and garlic, steam-sauteed in a little broth, add moisture and flavor. My family loved these patties topped with tomato slices and fresh basil, but feel free to go the ketchup and mustard route if you need to scratch the classic burger itch.
MEATLESS CHEESY OAT BURGER
Start to finish: 30 minutes (including 10 minutes chilling time)
1/3 cup minced shallot or sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
11/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1/2 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup egg white (about 1 large or 2 small egg whites)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
a few grinds of fresh black pepper
8 tomato slices
fresh basil, for garnish
Olive oil in a mister, or nonstick spray
Nutrition information per serving: 243 calories; 74 calories from fat; 8 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 24 mg cholesterol; 364 mg sodium; 28 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 15 g protein.