North Star veggie burger — at home!

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[My soon-to-be-gone veggie burger]

I pulverized old-fashioned rolled oats into oat flour. Chopped sticky prunes and pureed them with black beans. Caramelized diced onions and garlic. And roasted, peeled, grated and then pressed the liquid out of fresh beets until my hands looked like they got caught in a wood chipper. All in the name of trying to recreate the totally stupendous veggie burger served at Columbus’s organic jewel, the North Star Cafe. They call it very simply “the North Star Burger.”

Click here for the recipe I found on the Internet, posted by a blogger trying to recreate the famous original. It’s very close but not quite the same as the real thing.

Even though it has what seems like 438 ingredients, it was worth the effort. We’ve been eating them since Sunday night.

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to love these things. It’s Barrak’s go-to order whenever we visit North Star. The trick is getting the consistency right. My patties were a tad too mushy, even after sitting in the fridge overnight. They still sizzled nicely in my cast-iron skillet and dutifully formed a crust. After a few minutes, we melted slices of white cheddar on top and, just as North Star does, topped them with spring mix lettuce, a wheel of pink tomato, and crisp dill pickle sliced lengthwise.

Do not skip the pickle. The pickle is key!

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{The consistency was off but the raspberry color was right — that’s how North Star’s veggie burgers look}

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