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Now I’m all for a juicy beef patty but after creating this wicked little vege number I’d happily give beef the night off in order to let one of these take centre stage. Packed with freshly made pesto, crispy panko crusted eggplant, a gooey fried egg all between a soft buttermilk bun, it’s more than enough to silence a hungry carnivore.
1 large eggplant (aubergine)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup of flour
1 free range egg
4 burger buns, sliced & toasted
4 free range eggs
4 tablespoons mayonnaise (or dijonnaise works well)
1 ripe avocado (halved and sliced thinly)
4 tablespoons of basil pesto
Eggplant: Slice the eggplant into 4 x 3cm thick rounds. They now need to be put through a breading station. Into three separate shallow bowls place the flour, egg (beaten), and panko crumbs, season well. Then take each piece of eggplant, dredge in flour, shake off excess, cover in the egg, drain off excess, then into the panko crumbs. Make sure they are well covered then place on a plate ready to shallow fry. Repeat for each piece of eggplant.
Burgers: Start by shallow frying the eggplant until its golden and crispy. Add to a large frypan 1-2cm of extra virgin olive oil and place on a low-medium heat. Once hot enough, shallow fry the eggplant until golden and crispy, (about 3 minutes each side) drain on kitchen paper and place in a warm oven while you build the burgers.
Then in a separate pan, fry the 4 free-range eggs until the whites are cooked but the yolks are still a little wobbly. Now all you have to do is build your burger.
Start by placing a tablespoon of mayo on the heal (or bottom bun) of each burger, then add some sliced avocado, mesclun lettuce. Place the panko crusted eggplant on top, followed by a tablespoon of basil pesto, the egg, then place the crown of the burger bun (or top bun) and this vegetarian delight is good to go.