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by Chloe Coscarelli
Ditch the green eggs and ham this year, and celebrate St. Paddy’s Day vegan style with this healthful gourmet take on Irish pub food. For most yogis, meat-heavy pub grub is off-limits. You won’t miss the meat with these juicy mushroom sliders slathered in tangy basil pesto sauce and topped with sweet caramelized onions. Add a side of oven-baked garlic “fries” flecked with fresh parsley for a green feast that’s fit for a leprechaun! (Green beer not included.)
Pesto Pub Sliders with Oven-Baked Garlic Fries
Oven-Baked Garlic Fries
2 large russet potatoes, cut into ¼-inch fries
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet.
In a large bowl, soak potatoes in water to cover for 15 minutes. Drain, and dry potatoes well with a paper towel.
Transfer potatoes to the prepared rimmed baking sheet in one layer and drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat each stick, about 2 tablespoons. Toss the potatoes with the oil and season with salt. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until evenly browned with crispy edges. Be sure to turn with a spatula frequently.
In a small nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over low heat, and sauté garlic for about 2 minutes.
In a serving bowl, toss fries with garlic and parsley; adjust salt to taste.
Pesto Pub Sliders
Makes 12 sliders; serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow or red onion, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for pan
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups cooked green lentils
½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 ¼ cups walnuts, toasted
2 to 3 cloves garlic
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 mini buns or dinner rolls, sliced in half and toasted
1 small tomato, thinly sliced
Lettuce or greens of choice for topping
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté onions over medium heat until tender and slightly caramelized, about 20 to 30 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté mushrooms until soft. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a food processor and set skillet aside for later use.
Add lentils to the processor and pulse mushrooms and lentils until the mixture comes together. Transfer to a large bowl. Using a large spoon, mix in the flour, basil, salt, and pepper very thoroughly. Using the palms of your hands, form mixture into 12 mini patties, each about 2-inches in diameter by ½-inch thick.
Heat the reserved skillet over medium-high heat, and pan fry patties in batches, adding more oil as needed. Let the patties cook about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned.
In a food processor, combine basil, walnuts, garlic, oil, water, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Assemble sliders by layering the burger patty, pesto sauce, caramelized onions, tomatoes, and lettuce on the buns. Enjoy!
Chloe Coscarelli, author of Chloe’s Kitchen, is an award-winning vegan chef who is taking the culinary world by storm with her creative, easy-to-make vegan recipes. She first earned national attention after winning first place on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars with her vegan cupcakes. She lives in California with her family and adopted dogs.