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Swiss Chard Burgers

Swiss Chard Burgers

Last week, a friend of mine asked if I could do something with Swiss chard.  I had never taken a request before, and I really enjoyed the challenge!  It felt like I was on some reality t.v. show and my mystery ingredient a well-beloved friend.

For many of us during this season, this leafy green is abound but tends to get marginalized on the dinner plate.  Greens with garlic and olive oil is certainly a staple (and not a dish to be ignored), but I thought I would try to make Swiss chard the hero of the dinner plate today, especially since I’m pretty sure Michael asked for a Swiss chard recipe precisely because he, like many of us, was tired of serving it up in the same old way.

So to help us get through another Monday, I thought we could pretend it’s Saturday and bake up some burgers!  Swiss chard burgers, that is. I was extremely tempted to call these Swiss charred burgers, but I abstained. :)

Burger Buns

The really wonderful thing about these burgers is that if you don’t have something on hand, you can pretty much substitute anything you like!  The quinoa can just as easily be replaced by any grain you have on hand; instead of Panko breadcrumbs, try whole-wheat. Don’t have almonds? Any nut will do!  As unappetizing as it might sound, think of this as burger stew.  Ewww… but you get the drift.

Burger Buns

You might be noticing that the mixture in the stand mixer does not look like Swiss chard.  You’d be right.  Why not skip the supermarket burger buns and make your own?  You really won’t regret it.  These burger buns, recipe courtesy of Elra’s Baking, puff up like no bread you’ve ever made and the taste!  They truly taste how burger buns should taste.  Sweet, light on the inside, and crusty on the outside.  Mmmmm….

Toasted Almonds

To hold these patties together, I use egg whites.  I’m saving the yolks to make a custard to throw in Rupert Murdoch’s face.  But if you don’t mind the extra fat or custard ala Murdoch isn’t really your style, feel free to use 2 whole eggs instead.Swiss Chard Burgers

Swiss Chard Burgers

Burger BunsSwiss Chard Burgers

Swiss Chard Burgers:

  • 1 lb Swiss Chard
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup roughly ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
Burger Buns
  • 2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 small egg or 1/2 large egg
  • 4 tbsp butter, room temp, divided
  • Sesame seeds for topping
  • 1-2 tbsp milk for brushing
  1. Prepare dough. Beat milk and egg. Set aside. In a mixer bowl using a dough hook attachment, combine flour, yeast , sugar and salt. Make a well in the center and pour egg mixture into the well. Beat on low-speed for a minute; then on medium for three minutes.  Add butter in two additions, making sure the butter is completely incorporated before each addition. Continue to beat for about three more minutes.
  2. Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl to raise until doubled (1-2 hours).
  3. Prepare burgers. Preheat oven to 375. Set a large pot of water to boil.  While you’re waiting, use your food processor to roughly grind almonds (see above).  When processing almonds, process for one second; wait; process again. Processing too much or too quickly could make almond paste.
  4. Combine 1/2 cup ground almonds, breadcrumbs, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  5. Beat egg whites; add yogurt, honey, garlic, mustard and mix thoroughly.
  6. Boil Swiss chard until just tender (3-5 minutes). Cool slightly; squeeze out as much water as you can and place in a food processor. Blend for just about 1 second (be careful not to make Swiss chard paste by processing for too long!).
  7. Using a spatula, mix Swiss chard and quinoa.  Then add almond mixture and finally add egg white mixture.
  8. Make six patties (1/4cup of the mixture per patties) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 30 minutes; flipping halfway through.  Patties should be slightly browned and crispy on each side.
  9. While patties are baking, divide bun dough into six pieces and shape into balls.  Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
  10. When patties have finished baking, set on a cooling rack and heat oven to 350.
  11. When oven reaches 350, bake buns until browned (about 30 minutes). You may have to cut one open to be sure they’ve cooked all the way through.
  12. Serve and enjoy!
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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow what a great recipe! The flavors sound amazing and your pictures look incredible, yum!!

    July 26, 2011
  2. Michael #

    Thank you for taking serious the request to make swiss chard front and center! I made the burgers for dinner tonight…my two-and-a-half year old kept swiping nibbles from the burgers as they rested on the counter! We topped them with goat cheese, a little mayo, onion and tomato. We were talking about other toppings and interpretations for this dish, and it occurred to us that it’s not a far cry from falafel. A little hummus, red onion, and tomato would be great too (with or without the bun).

    This burger is healthy, tastes fresh, and is a fun texture. It has that earthy “green” taste, but is made more complex with the almonds and quinoa. While the other ingredients complicate the flavors and give it texture, the recipe definitely highlights the swiss chard and makes it the centerpiece of the dish–as it should.

    Not being a baker, I did something wrong with the buns and ended up with something much more akin to biscuits. I also forgot the sesame seeds until it was too late. Alas… just another excuse to make them again.

    As a side note, since we had a lot of swiss chard to use… I doubled the recipe and froze half of them. I look forward to busting them out, baking them (or grilling them if the weather allows, we had hail and thunderstorms today), and enjoying your creation again. Thanks so much!

    Michael, Gayle, and Dylan (Parker’s too young to eat solids)

    August 1, 2011
  3. what a great burger, I bet my girls would love this!
    I have to admit I thought my laptop needed the colours fixed at first, then I read it was a swiss chard burger…lol
    Simply delicious!

    August 27, 2011
    • Thanks Chef Dennis! I know, most people see this and expect something not-so-tasty, but the taste never fails to win them over. :)

      August 28, 2011
  4. I just love your post and photos plus a new meatless version of the burger. Swiss chard is a winter veggie here in Florida and I have just started some from seeds. Can’t wait to give this a try. Wonder how kale would work? Have a great weekend.

    September 2, 2011
    • Thanks, Suzi! I’ve tried kale and collard greens! Both work beautifully!

      September 2, 2011

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