Today we have a guest post from Karon Hampton of Brooklyn Eats. Karon started this blog as a platform for sharing the menu making she does on (a modest budget) with her family and friends. She can sometime be found sharing the rest of her life through the blog as well. Enjoy the awesome kale burger…
I just want to be clear about what we are talking about here – a burger made of kale. Not ground meat mixed with kale. Not a portobello mushroom topped with kale. Not even a black bean, potato and kale patty – no, this is simply kale in burger form. I couldn’t find the frickin recipe anywhere online so I gave up and made up my own – and a few versions later, it worked!
The idea, like so many of our food ideas, came from a great local restaurant here in Brooklyn. We treated ourselves to iCi for brunch and A got the kale burger with caramelized onions on a kaiser bun (ok, ok, and goat cheese but it was just a teeny bit!). We were blown away not only by the taste and texture but by the fact it was pretty much just kale – no visible beans or potatoes or anything besides the light, crunchy breading on the outside. They served it with pickled rhubarb and fried artichokes and altogether it was the stuff dreams are made of.
Back home, Google searching turned up all of the afore-mentioned recipes but nothing quite like the iCi burger. So we improvised and came up with a really delicious kale burger that is just as good as iCi’s (if I may be so modest). The exact same? No. But I look forward to continued testing and tweaking!
inspired by the wonderful iCi in Fort Greene (check it out if you’re in the area!)
1 large bunch kale, well-washed and mostly dried
1 large tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon almond butter or tahini
1/2 teaspoon garlic or 1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon coriander
cayenne to taste (if you like)
heaping 1/4 cup almond meal
heaping 1/4 cup flour
 Remove stems and chop kale into very thin ribbons; sprinkle with sea salt and gently massage; let rest 15 minutes. The kale will turn a bright green and soften. Meanwhile in a food processor or blender combine the tomato, tahini or almond butter, garlic and coriander. If your tomato is not super juicy, add a tablespoon or two of water.
 In a large saucepan heat a little oil. Add the kale and sauté for a minute; then add 1/2 cup or so of water and cover loosely. Let cook 5 to 8 minutes (the fresher the kale the shorter the cook time) until it’s just wilting but not totally limp. Transfer kale (leave behind any remaining water in the pan) to large bowl. Meanwhile mix the almond meal and flour in a small bowl. If desired, you could add a little cayenne to this mix too.
 After it cools enough to handle, add 2/3 of the kale to the blender with the tomato mixture and blend. You don’t want it to get too smooth; maybe pulse on and off for a minute or two. Transfer this blended mix back into the large bowl with the reserved kale and mix it all together, adding a couple of tablespoons of the flour/almond meal mix too. You should be able to make patties from this mix that hold together fairly well. If too wet, add more flour/almond meal; if too dry, drizzle in some olive oil or water. Form six burgers and coat each burger in the remaining flour/almond meal.
 Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick frying pan. Cook each burger for 4 minutes on each side, adding more oil if need be. They will get a nice crunchy outside with a hot, tasty middle. Serve and enjoy.
These are great on a lightly toasted whole wheat bun with caramelized onions, or my favorite is on a fresh kaiser roll with onions as well as roasted red peppers and some baby greens mixed with a homemade goddess dressing. If you are not averse to dairy, try the goat cheese. I could go on and on but just try it – tasting is believing!
For a printable version of this recipe click here.