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Roasted Vegetable Burger

There's nothing like a big, juicy burger that's packed with flavor.  Since it was raining and we weren't able to grill, I needed a Plan "B".  When I first suggested baking the burgers in the oven my friends scoffed.  Well, I roasted up the veggies, made the burgers and they were a hit for sure ~ bite after mouthwatering bite.  Packed with roasted zucchini, onions, eggplant, mushrooms and tomatoes these burgers are sure to please; even on a rainy day!



INGREDIENTS:
2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup zucchini, quartered and sliced (1/4")
1/2 cup Chinese eggplant, quartered and sliced (1/4")
1 cup mushrooms, halved and sliced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:
4 onion slices (1/2")

12 cherry tomatoes
optional: Gouda or smoked cheddar cheese slices

PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees or prepare outdoor grill

1.   In a large bowl, combine zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms and onion.  Pour olive oil over mixture and toss well to combine.  Add cherry tomatoes and toss again to combine.

2.   Place the 4 onion slices and 12 cherry tomatoes (for topping) on one end of the baking sheet; brush with olive oil.  Spread vegetable mixture from the bowl evenly on the baking pan; season with salt and pepper.

3.   Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

4.   Place the ground beef in the large bowl and break apart.  Add the roasted vegetables and kneed to combine well.

5.   Form into 6-8 patties.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to allow patties to set.

6.   Cooking burgers: outdoor grill, be sure to spray grill with non-stick cooking spray; oven indoors, set on broiler pan and bake for 20-23 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  If you are topping with cheese, add the slice on the top of the burger for the last 3 minutes.

7.   Top with the roasted onion slice and cherry tomatoes.

8.   Serve and enjoy!

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