White Bean Shiitake Burgers

Shiitakes are mushrooms most commonly used in Japanese and Chinese cuisines. Their therapeutic value has made them very prized in Asian countries. Because they are extremely fragrant, the rule of thumb in cooking with shiitakes is, a little goes a long way.

This fantastic recipe originates from Shiitake and White Bean Burgers with Watercress Pesto and Goat Cheese, published by Delicious Living Magazine. Often when I cook, I work with what I do (or do not) have readily available in the kitchen. In this case, I didn’t have watercress or goat cheese. I made a standard garden salad and topped it with one of the burger patties and a dollop of basil pesto I prepared days before. I did not serve any baguette with this as that small meal was very filling.


  • 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps chopped (about 2 cups, chopped)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) no-salt-added cannellini beans ~ rinsed and drained
  • 3 cloves garlic ~ chopped, divided
  • 1 egg ~ lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp dried ground rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 cup fine, dried whole-wheat bread crumbs (I used Panko crumbs, found in the Japanese section of Asian groceries)
  • 1 small bunch watercress ~ stems removed (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 slices boule bread or baguette
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 8 slices boule bread or baguette

*Heat a sauté pan to medium-high. (Or coat grill racks with oil and preheat to medium-high.). *In a food processor, combine mushrooms, onion, beans, two of the garlic cloves, egg, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Process until well combined but not completely puréed; mixture will be wet. Transfer to a medium bowl and, using hands, mix in bread crumbs until mixture holds its shape but is still moist. Form into six patties and brush each side with olive oil. Panfry or grill for 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until crispy and browned on the outside and heated through. *While burgers are cooking, make pesto: In a food processor, combine remaining garlic clove, watercress, pine nuts, and olive oil. Pulse until a paste forms. Season with sea salt and pepper. *During final 2–3 minutes of cooking, toast bread to warm. Remove from pan or grill, and spread with pesto and goat cheese. Add burgers and serve immediately.