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The Vegetarian

Burgers for the Meatless-Minded

July 09, 1987|DIANA SHAW | Shaw is a free-lance writer in Los Angeles.

There's nothing quite like a cookout to confound my friends. For almost every barbecue invitation that arrives in my mail, I get a last-minute phone call from the host, who, while preparing the hamburgers, frankfurters or chicken, has suddenly remembered how I feel about such things. The point of the call is to ask me if I wouldn't mind: (1) making a meal of potato salad and green beans; (2) bringing my own entree; (3) coming for brunch next week instead.

It takes some extra planning to accommodate vegetarians at a cookout, but not enough to justify knocking us off a guest list. Here's a burger recipe that will delight every vegetarian, plus a recipe for potato salad that will delight every guest.


3 small red or white potatoes, boiled and peeled

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Freshly ground black pepper or cayenne pepper

Tahini Sauce

Mash together potatoes and garbanzo beans. Add wheat germ, onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, cilantro, parsley and pepper to taste. Mix well with hands, making sure that texture remains firm.

Shape into 4 burgers. Grill over hot coals or broil 10 minutes, turning to brown both sides. Serve with Tahini Sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Tahini Sauce

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup plain yogurt

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Mix tahini and yogurt until smooth. Add lemon juice and enough hot water until it reaches desired consistency for burger topping.


1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, grated

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

6 fist-size red or white potatoes, boiled, peeled and chopped

Salt, freshly ground pepper

Combine onion, garlic, mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard and dill. Mix well. Add potatoes and stir to coat with dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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