I just realized that this is this is the second eggplant recipe I posted in a row with the most recent one being the Garam Masala Eggplant Chips with Cilantro Mint Raita post. But this Grilled Eggplant, Halloumi and Pesto Burger recipe created by Blogger, Sala for her Veggie Belly Blog had me enthralled. All you have to do is take a look at the picture above to see what I mean. It’s “meaty” looking without actually being meaty and I love the pops of color coming from the tomato and lettuce. Don’t you just want to reach through your screen and grab it for a bite? I know I do. Click here to see Sala’s original recipe post.
When you get a chance, you definitely need to explore the Veggie Belly blog. There are so many tasty vegetarian and even some vegan recipes to choose from. A few that intrigued me included recipes for Edamame Walnut Ravioli with Spinach Mushroom Saute, Spaghetti and Spinach Balls and Sweet Potato Samosa Pops! So if you’re looking for a new Meatless Burger option, this one is definitely worth checking out.
Grilled Eggplant, Halloumi and Pesto Burgers
1 medium eggplant, weighing about 1 lb.
3/4 TBS olive oil
3/4 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp dry Italian seasoning
4 oz halloumi cheese
To assemble the grilled eggplant, halloumi and pesto burgers
4 medium sized burger buns
4 tsp pesto
Mayonnaise, according to taste (optional)
2 leaves of lettuce, cut in half
1 large tomato, cut into 4 slices
Cut the eggplant into ½ inch thick rounds, at its widest part. Save the remaining eggplant for another dish. Place the sliced eggplant in a shallow dish. Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning salt and pepper together. When adding salt, keep in mind that the halloumi is an already salty cheese. Pour the whisked ingredients over the eggplant rounds, and toss well to coat. Slice the halloumi into ½ inch thick slices.
Heat a grill on medium-high heat. You can use an outdoor grill or a cast iron stove top grill like I did. When the grill is hot, arrange the eggplant slices on the grill, and cook for about 6 minutes on each side or till the eggplant is cooked. Then grill the halloumi slices on both sides till golden grill marks appear, about 2 minutes per side. If you don’t have a grill, you can cook the eggplant and halloumi in batches on a large skillet.
You are now ready to assemble the burgers. Spread some mayonnaise, if using, on 2 halves of a burger bun. Take one half of a bun, and stack the grilled eggplant, halloumi and spread 1 teaspoon of pesto. Top it with tomato and lettuce. Place the other half of the burger bun on top. Serve with fries or a chilled cucumber salad tossed with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Makes 4 burgers.
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