I am a midwesterner through and through. I love my adopted home state of California but a piece of me will always be in Illinois. I still occasionally long for those slow summer days at my parent’s house on a the lake or those mornings waking up to snow on the ground. I miss the feeling of the first day that feels like spring and there are still times that the feeling of having so much fresh produce year-round feels odd. We’ve chatted about moving back but for now, I’m a transplant living in the golden state. All of this made me so excited to see Shelly’s beautiful new book, Vegetarian Heartland.
These wild rice veggie sliders are a recipe from her book. Shelly’s book is filled with photographs that capture the Midwest in all the most wonderful ways with recipes that do the same. The recipes are the perfect mix of traditional fare with the fresh flavors one expects from vegetarian recipes. I’m excited to have this book of my shelf for all those times I long for home.
Wild Rice Veggie Sliders with Herbed Ricotta
Wild rice sliders topped with a flavorful herbed ricotta from the cookbook, Vegetarian Heartland.
- 8 oz (230 g) whole-milk ricotta
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil or dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup (120 g) wild rice, rinsed
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Leaves from 2 sprigs dill, chopped
- 1/3 cup (75 g) tahini
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1/3 cup (15 g) bread crumbs
- 16 slider buns, split
- To make the herbed ricotta: In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, garlic, parsley, basil, and ill. Season with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- To make the veggie burgers: In a large saucepan (with a lid) over high heat, combine the wild rice and 4 cups vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. add the onion, celery, and carrots, and sauté until very soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Remove from the heat and fold in the chopped dill.
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the tahini, dates, oregano, cayenne, mustard, and remaining 1/4 cup vegetable stock and blend until smooth.
- Add the tahini-date paste, the bread crumbs, and the sautéed vegetables to the bowl with the wild rice and fold together until combined. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Using your hands, shape 1/4 cup ( 65 g) of the mixture into a ball and then gently flatten into a patty that is about 1 inch (25 mm) thick. Transfer the patties to a plate and continue to form patties with the remaining mixture. Cover and refrigerate the patties for up to 24 hours or cook them right away.
- Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium heat.
- Arrange the patties on the grill, cover, and cook, flipping once until warmed through, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Place each patty between a bun and top with herbed ricotta. Serve immediately.
Tips & Tricks: Shelly recommends keeping these patties small as they hold together better. I can agree with this- I tried making larger patties and they definitely didn't hold together as near as well.
Link: This recipe is reprinted from Vegetarian Heartland with permission from Shelly Westerhausen and Chronicle Books.
As mentioned, Shelly’s books is a wonderful ode to the Midwest. The book is broken up by seasons and activities (which I absolutely adore the camping section.) Whether you’re a seasoned plant-based cook or just starting, Shelly’s book is full of inspiration. A few of my other favorite recipes from the book: