Mushroom Barley Burgers

This is my favorite vegetarian burger – the barley makes it particularly toothsome. Mollie Katzen’s “the heart of the plate” is a fabulous vegetarian cookbook.This recipe is adapted from a recipe in that cookbook.

Start with 1.5 cups cooked barley (boil barley with plenty of water for 30 min to cook and then drain-use the water to make barley water lemonade). Cook ¾ cup onion, ¼ lb finely chopped mushrooms and 1.5 tsp garlic in olive oil till dry and slightly brown. Deglaze with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and add to barley. Mix in ½ packed cup shredded mozzarella, ½ cup finely chopped cashews, 2 eggs, 6 tbsp all purpose flour, salt and pepper and mix well

Add some oil to your non stick griddle and use non stick spray on your measuring cup and on your spatula. Measure out ¼ cup of the batter onto the griddle- flatten with the spatula into burger shape. Cook for around 5 min each side till brown.

These are great in burgers with your favorite toppings and in tacos in place of meat

Mushroom Bolognese from America’s Test Kitchen

Like many vegetarians, I’ve tried many many recipes for Mushroom Bolognese. This is the best and the easiest recipe I’ve found. I love recipes that start with the food processor and then cook without too many interventions. The soy, the porcini, the tomato paste all add so much umami flavor. The dish is meaty and heartening and also paradoxically refreshing and delicious. I generally halve this- 2 small boxes of crimini mushrooms make up one lb

Step 1: food processor ! 1 lb crimini mushrooms, half a carrot, half an onion, approximately 6-7 rehydrated porcini mushrooms. Chop in batches, dump in pot

Step 2: add 2 tbsp of butter and the porcini water (hate to waste that) and cook till browned (15-20 min) but not burnt

Step 3: add ½ tsp sugar, 1 tbsp tomato paste – cook

Step 4: deglaze with ½ cup red wine. Cook wine off till mixture is dry

Step 5: add ½ tbsp soy sauce, ¼ cup vegetable broth and 1 small can (14 oz) tomatoes with 2 cloves of garlic (use food processor for tomatoes and garlic too) and salt and pepper

Let cook for 10 min too – don’t let this dry out. Finish with 2 tbsp of heavy cream off heat

Cook pasta , add sauce thinned out with some pasta water. Add Parmesan !