Suvir Saran’s Mushroom and Farro Burger
- 1 pound pale-fleshed sweet potatoes or regular potatoes such as Yukon gold, baked
- ¾ cup farro see note
- Salt to taste
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup finely chopped peanuts
- 1 pound cremini mushroom caps finely chopped
- 3 shallots finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1 cup panko or chickpea flour you will not use all of it
Bake potatoes in a 425-degree oven as directed. When tender, remove from the oven, allow to cool until you can handle them, peel and place in a bowl. Mash with a fork.
While potatoes are baking, cook the farro. Combine with 3 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, add salt to taste and cover. Reduce heat and simmer 50 to 60 minutes, until grains are tender and beginning to splay. Drain well and set aside.
Remove needles and leaves from rosemary and thyme sprigs and place in a large frying pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add pepper and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the herbs begin to crackle. Add chopped peanuts and cook for 2 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, and stir in chopped mushrooms and about 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste). Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms have released all of their liquid and there is no more liquid in the pan, about 8 minutes. Stir in wine and continue to cook, stirring, until there is again no liquid left in the pan. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl with the potatoes.
Heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in the pan and add shallots. Cook until tender and beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and scrape shallots into bowl with mushrooms and potatoes. Add farro and Parmesan and mash everything together. Add salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.
Take up a heaped 1/3 cup of the mixture and form into a ball (you can wet your hands to reduce sticking). Roll ball in panko or chickpea flour, then gently flatten into a patty. Set on a plate and continue with remaining burger mixture. Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour or longer (the longer the better).
When you’re ready to cook, place a rack over a sheet pan. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch, heavy nonstick frying pan over high heat. Swirl the pan to coat with the hot oil. Lower heat to medium. Place 4 to 5 patties in the pan (do not crowd), and cook until well browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn and brown for about 4 more minutes. Remove to rack. Heat remaining oil in the pan and cook remaining patties. Keep patties warm in a low oven until ready to serve. Serve with a salad and your choice of toppings, such as the usual (ketchup, mustard, relish), or yogurt raita, garlic yogurt, or chutney.
Nutritional information per burger: 272 calories; 15 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 9 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 milligrams cholesterol; 28 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 108 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 9 grams protein