This polenta pesto veggie burger is a nice change of pace if you're tired of the typical veggie burgers available at the supermarket today. It's not trying to emulate meat in the slightest, instead celebrating the various textures, flavors, and colors available right in the plant-based kingdom. You've got salty-sweet polenta, golden squash, bright, roasted tomatoes, and vibrant green pesto. Delicious, wholesome food!
Polenta Pesto Veggie Sandwich [Vegan]
For the Burgers:
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice
- 1 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- Salt, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
- Grape tomatoes
- Sliced zucchini and yellow squash
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Burger buns of your choice
For the Pesto:
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more if needed
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper, as desired
- In a medium-sized pot, bring vegetable broth and milk to a boil and whisk in cornmeal until smooth. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook for another 6-8 minutes, whisking throughout. Remove from heat and stir in butter, basil, salt, and pepper.
- Pour polenta onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread into a 1-inch or 2-inch rectangle. Make sure the surface is smooth. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Once polenta is chilled, cut it into 8 equal squares and brush it with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes (or until golden brown). While polenta is cooking, also roast your tomatoes, zucchini, and squash in the same oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet by simply drizzling them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Leave them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- While the polenta and vegetables are cooking, whip up your pesto in a high-speed blender or food processor. Just place all the pesto ingredients into a blend and purée until desired consistency is reached.
- Assemble your burgers. Start with a bun and layer one polenta "burger" on top, followed by a generous spoonful of pesto, one slice of each zucchini and squash, and some roasted tomatoes. Serve.