Beef Up Your Greens: A Vegetarian Recipe

Ellie and the greens
This week Ellie Duncan, apprentice at our Orchard Gardens Neighborhood Farm and Community Gardens, is guest blogging for us.  Ellie is a recent graduate of the University of Montana, and helps keep up the farm two days a week thanks to the help of our friends at Missoula Federal Credit Union.  Her fridge overfloweth with greens— sound familiar?  Leave us a comment with how your green burgers turned out.

Is your fridge over-flowing with July’s generous bounty? Are you guiltily throwing away wilted greens as much as you are packing fresh ones in your fridge? Are you beginning to wonder if your housemates will continue to forgive you for completely infringing on their fridge space and burying their tortillas and peanut butter with kale, collards, swiss chard, and so on? See for yourself what mine looks like. . .

Fridge overflowing with greens

At Orchard Gardens, we hear it week after week, directly from our CSA members or through the grapevine: “THIS IS SO MUCH FOOD!” More specifically, “What am I supposed to do with all these greens!?!?”

Well, I’ve got a recipe for you: Green Burgers!

This recipe is modified from another recipe which intrigued me with the title “Green Meat Balls.”  Neither of these recipes include meat, so if you’re going to scoff at them for their counter intuitive names, this is your chance. . .Now, read on!    


 Ingredients:green burger ingredients

  • 1 bunch greens (kale, collards, swiss chard, beet greens, carrot tops, mustard greens, or any combination of extra greens you have wilting in your refrigerator!)
  • 1/3 c. zucchini (shredded)
  • 1/2 c. onion or scallions (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3 eggs -1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 T sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for frying (I prefer safflower oil– heat tolerant and local! Available in bulk at the Good food store and Missoula Food Coop)

How to make:

Finely chop the greens into strips (think the size of a match stick.) Mix in a large bowl with chopped onions, garlic, shredded zucchini. Add eggs and water.

In a separate bowl combine bread crumbs, flour, sesame seeds, salt and pepper.

Add to vegetables. With your hands, or a large spoon, form the mixture into burger shapes.

Cover the bottom of a cast iron pan with your frying oil and heat to medium-high.  Fry your Green Burgers, flipping when golden brown.

These hearty green burgers are great as a snack, a side dish, or used as a vegetarian substitute in the traditional burger environment (in between a bun with your favorite condiments.) They are crispy, flavorful, AND help to diminish the unreasonably large mountain of greens in your refrigerator!green burgers - completed