Pecan and Mushroom Burgers

  • 2/3 cup bulgur
  • ¾ tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz. white or brown mushrooms, stems trimmed, wiped clean and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion (1 large)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup pecan halves
  • 2 each large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup fine dry whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 8 each Arnold brand whole-wheat buns
  • Watercress for garnish

Place bulgur and ¼ tsp. salt in a small bowl.  Pour the boiling water over, cover and set aside until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Drain in a sieve, pressing out excess liquid.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp. oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms,  onion and remaining ½ tsp. salt; cook, stirring until the vegetables are softened, 8 – 10 minutes.  Stir in vinegar.  Immediately transfer the mixture to a plate and let cool to room temp, about 30 minutes.

Toast pecans in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant, 4 – 6 minutes.  Transfer to a plate to cool.

Combine the vegetable mixture and pecans in a food processor; pulse briefly until coarsely chopped.  Add egg and the bulgur; pulse briefly, scraping down the sides if necessary, until the mixture is cohesive but roughly textured.  Transfer to a bowl.  Stir in bread crumbs and pepper.  Mix well.

With dampened hands, form the mixture into eight ½-inch thick patties, using about ½ cup for each.

Using 2 tsp. olive oil per batch, cook 4 patties at a time in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until evenly browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side.  Meanwhile, split and toast buns, if using, to serve the burgers on.  Garnish the burgers with watercress , if desired.