baked EGGPLANT burger patties -Turkish influence

Coated patties of creamy textured eggplant with robust flavours get baked.
A satisfying vegetable burger was enjoyed from this crispy outer with its soft interior. 

Pattie served on a bed of rustic, root vegetable mashed potatoes.

Our markets are generously offering a plethora of eggplants.
Since the white variety is incredibly seasonal, why not showcase them. 

Before the well known violet, light purple all the way to the 'black beauty' came into our markets...
the 'Albino' and 'White beauty' eggplants were actually the first to emerge.

 Generally small in size, this variety is firmly textured and gives way to a creamy, less bitter outcome.
Also, keep in mind that this particular eggplant has a very tough, inedible skin.  
Peeling is absolutely required...really the only downfall ;o)
After having looked through this lovely Turkish recipe book, I was off to my laboratory.

Preparing to sort and use a few robust flavours...
I was off to a great start of integrating bold ingredients with a blander tasting eggplant.

baked EGGPLANT burger patties
inspired by Turkish cuisine

makes 12 patties

(American measures)

. 2 medium Eggplants*, peeled, cubed -- approx. 2 cups cooked
. 2 large eggs
. 2 tsps. Dijon mustard
. 1/2 tsp. each: granulated garlic powder, sea salt
. 1/4 tsp. each of dried herbs: basil, marjoram, sage, tarragon
. 1 cup aged Cheddar cheese, shredded, packed
. 1/2 cup roasted almonds, crushed
. 1 cup breadcrumbs or any crushed cracker -- (separated: 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup for coating)

* If desired, the cubed eggplant can be salted for about 30 minutes to rid it of its slight bitterness.  Optional: roasting of the eggplant enhances flavour.


1. Prepare a steamer to receive the peeled and cubed eggplant.  Once steamed to fork tender (about 10 minutes) let it rest to cool to room temperature.  Then, place the eggplant in a fine sieve to squash lightly and extract any remaining water.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs as well as the Dijon and all seasoning.   
3. Add the cooked eggplant and lightly mash it together with this egg mix.  
4. Finish by adding the cheese, nuts and only the 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs.  Mix completely.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to two days ahead.

Assembly and baking:
. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.  Position rack to the 2nd level from the bottom.  Prepare a large, parchment lined baking sheet.
5. With the aid of an ice-cream scoop, make patted, packed portions of mix.  Release balls onto a platter.  Then lightly form thick, burger patties.  Note: the patties will feel quite wet...it's fine.  
6. With the remaining breadcrumb, coat each pattie lightly and very gently tap off the excess.  Place them on the baking sheet. 
7. Bake patties for 20 minutes and then take them out to gently flip them for another 10 minute baking time.

My foundation of Italian cooking always enjoys an intervention of international inspiration.
I’ll be making these again for sure...and next time who knows what boldness I’ll want to explore.
Flavourful wishes,

On a much more serious note.  I want to dedicate this post to those who had to forcefully flee their war torn homes.  I urge that the international community open their hearts much further in order to bring courage, strength and hope to these deserving human beings.  It’s in times like these that our best can truly shine as we give a warm smile and a helping hand.  Please do what is possible. 

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.