Sautéed crimini mushrooms -- also called baby bellas -- lend a delicious meaty flavor to these veggie burgers. Be sure to use a medium-grain rice, the kind you would use in risotto; its sticky quality helps bind the patties.
2 2/3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1 lb. crimini mushrooms, quartered if large
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups Italian-style dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup (2 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 whole wheat kaiser rolls, split
8 lettuce leaves
1. Bring broth to a simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in rice; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, 18 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and most of liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. During last 5 minutes of cooking, stir almost constantly. Place in large bowl.
2. Place half of the mushrooms in food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Place in medium bowl; repeat with remaining mushrooms.
3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until tender and most of liquid has evaporated. Add to rice; cool completely.
4. Add egg, bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper; mix well. With damp hands, shape mixture into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours. (Patties can be made ahead, individually wrapped and frozen up to 3 months. Thaw frozen patties in refrigerator before cooking.)
5. Heat grill. Lightly brush grill rack with oil. Place patties on gas grill over medium-high heat or on charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches from medium-high coals. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until browned and thoroughly heated, turning once.
6. Just before patties are done, place rolls, cut-side down, on grill 30 to 60 seconds or until lightly toasted. Serve burgers on lettuce in toasted rolls; top with Tomato-Basil Salad, if desired.
PER SANDWICH: 310 calories, 6.5 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 12.5 g protein, 51.5 g carbohydrate, 30 mg cholesterol, 725 mg sodium, 5 g fiber