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- Kristin 

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Summer Corn Veggie Burgers with Sunflower Seed Pesto

Summer Corn Veggie Burgers with Sunflower Seed Pesto

There's nothing quite like fresh summer fruits and vegetables. I love walking into the grocery store or farmers market during the summer months and seeing stacks of fresh berries, corn on the cob, tomatoes and summer squashes. This recipe celebrates sweet delicious summer corn. 

Corn-Burger.jpg

I wasn't always a fan of fresh corn (gasp...). I know I'm in the minority, but the process of eating corn on the cob is  just too hands on and messy for me - particularly when done in public. I used to just avoid eating it all together, but now I just cut it off the cob so I can enjoy those buttery sweet kernels without all the napkins...and floss.

I fancied up my burger by adding some roasted tomatoes and a healthy smear of sunflower basil pesto - other delicous summer flavors. But I must say, these patties are also delicious when eaten on their own - no bun needed! While they still need to be handled gently, the patties stay together well and develop a nice pan fried crust on the outside. A portion of the corn kernels are left out of the food processor and manually stirred in for texture. Some of those kernels hit the hot pan and get nice and carmelized...win!

The list of ingredients and instructions may seem long, but these come together quickly not including the hour chill time. While it can be annoying to get out your trusty but oh so heavy food processor, it really does most of the work in this recipe with multiple uses. 


Summer Corn Veggie Burgers with Sunflower Seed Pesto

Veggie burgers made with fresh corn, sunflower seeds, chickpeas and basil

Makes: 5 -6 patties

Summer Corn Veggie Burgers with Sunflower Seed Pesto

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 shallot
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from approximately 3 - 4 ears)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 15.5 ounces canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • hamburger rolls, for serving

Instructions:
  1. Add the roasted sunflower seeds to the food processor and process into a fine crumb. Set aside and wipe the bowl clean
  2. Add the shallot to the food processor and process until finely chopped (or manually chop). Set aside and rinse the bowl clean
  3. Heat a tablespoon of unsalted butter over medium heat in a large skillet. When hot, add the corn kernels and shallot and season with salt and pepper
  4. Cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 6 - 7 minutes. The shallots should be soft and the corn should be tender but not mushy. Set aside and allow to slightly cool
  5. Set aside 1/2 cup of the corn mixture and add the remaining corn, chickpeas, basil and cheese to the food processor
  6. Process until everything is combined and you are left with small pieces of the ingredients but stop before your mixture turns into a hummus
  7. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of the processed sunflower seeds (set aside the rest for the pesto or another use) and the breadcrumbs
  8. Taste your mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste (see note). Add the egg and stir until incorporated throughout
  9. Use approximately 1/2 cup of the mixture to form each patty with a height of about 1/2 inch. Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. This will help them stay together
  10. After an hour, heat 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. If you need to do multiple batches, add additional oil with each batch
  11. When the oil is hot, add the burgers, cover, and cook without moving for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully flip each patty. They should have a nice crust on the cooked side. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, uncovered
  12. To assemble, spread the pesto (see below) on one side of the bun and top with the patty. Add the roasted tomatoes on top and enjoy
  13. Note: A few of the ingredients will have varying levels of salt depending on the brand used (chickpeas, breadcrumbs, sunflower seeds). It is very important to taste the mixture prior to the egg and season according to your tastes. I added approximately 1/4 tsp of salt.

Sunflower Seed Pesto

A fresh and flavorful sunflower seed pesto

Sunflower Seed Pesto

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup ground roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, for seasoning

Instructions:
  1. Add the basil, sunflower seeds, garlic and cheese to a food processor and process until finely chopped and combined. Slowly add in the olive oil until incorporated. Taste and add salt and pepper.

 

Roasted Tomatoes


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