Monday, June 18th, 2018

RECIPE: Eggplant Burgers with Toasted Cumin Ketchup

Published on September 10, 2011 by   ·   2 Comments Social Buttons by Linksku - Share links onlinePin It

Chillier temperatures doesn’t mean saying sayonara to ‘burger and ‘dog fare,  up your cooking ante and gourmetsize to these healthier and delicious eggplant burgers.  They’ve been a hit with everyone round these parts.  What are you waiting for? Put on your sexy chef hat and step to it.


  • 1 large, wide eggplant, sliced into ¾” rounds
  • 1 tbsp. of toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of whole cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup of tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of arugula
  • 2 buns or 4 slices of bread (kalamata olive bread, roasted garlic bread, and focaccia all make great burger buns for this recipe)*


Image via The Village Voice

Slice the eggplant into ¾” thick rounds. Bring the oil and salt to a medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the eggplant and sauté both sides until soft and well-browned. Option: If you need to further soften the eggplant, but it’s getting to browned, you can add a thin layer of water to the pan to finish it off by simmering. Toast the cumin seeds over a medium heat in a dry pan for about 3 minutes. Grind the toasted cumin into a powder. Combine the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Toast the buns or bread. Spread the ketchup on the bread, place the eggplant slices on the bread, and top with arugula.

*These are meant to be served open-faced, which is why there are only two buns/four slices of bread in the recipe.  However, if you prefer a closed sandwich, use fairly thinly sliced bread. The eggplant patties will last for over a week in the refrigerator, so you can do a lot of these burgers at once in a wide pan, saving them to eat throughout the week. Low-fat Version: Instead of sautéing the eggplant in oil, sauté them on both sides in a dry pan until they are lightly browned, then add a thin layer of water to the pan to soften the eggplant slices by simmering them. Raw Version: Use a sundried tomato puree for the ketchup.  To soften the eggplant, salt the eggplant and place a heavy weight over the slices.  Allow this to sit for a couple hours, then rinse the salt off the eggplant.  Serve this over a raw bread or in a lettuce wrap. Complementary Food and Drinks: Serve this with a side of orange sweet potato chips and an ice cold ale! Where to Shop: Baby arugula can be found cheaply at Trader Joe’s.  You can also get a good bread or bun there.  When shopping for the eggplant, look for a tight, shiny skin Approximate cost per serving is $1.00. How It Works: Toasted sesame oil is used to give the eggplant a bit more depth of taste than olive oil would give, though olive oil will work just fine.  The oil needs to come to the right heat before the eggplant is added, or else the eggplant will absorb all the oil before it properly cooks.  Balsamic vinegar is used in the ketchup to give the ketchup a burst of flavor that a normal vinegar would not impart. Arugula lends not only a peppery taste to the burger, but a light presentation.  Finally, these are served open-faced so that the bread does not overwhelm the eggplant patty. Chef’s Notes: These burgers are absolutely one of the best burger recipes I’ve created.  They are huge hits not only with adults, but with kids, as well, which surprised me. Interesting Facts: Many recipes call for eggplant to be salted and allowed to sit to draw out the bitterness.  However, this is not necessary with a properly cooked eggplant.

Recipe via Chef Jason Wyrick, the foodie genius and executive Chef and publisher of The Vegan Culinary Experience the world’s only vegan culinary magazine. We’d eat anything he gave us.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. Those flavors go great with that eggplant. I bet this recipe would be good raw, too.

  2. It really is great raw! Sometimes I add a small clove of garlic to the sundried tomato puree along with a healthy dose of fresh thyme to intensify the flavor of it, since the cumin isn’t toasted in the raw version and it won’t have the balsamic vinegar. Speaking of which, try some raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice instead so you still get that ketchup tang.

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