The original “slider” is well-known as greasy junk food. They are fast food mini burgers sold by the sackful that leave the consumer feeling kind of sick and guilty. I guess that they are called sliders because they are well-lubricated to slide right down. The one good thing about them, that has spawned an ocean of imitators, is the size.
Now we call any mini-burger a slider, and chefs are making lobster sliders on brioche buns, and other upscale versions of the three bite burger. There is something so fun about having two or three teeny burgers for dinner, instead of one big one. Sliders also fit in the “small plates” trend, since you can have a slider as part of a series of small taste. You can even put them out as appetizers.
Of course, my sliders are perfect for a Meatless Monday meal, because they are made with super flavorful tofu burgers. I love tofu burgers, especially when they are packed with flavorful stuff like artichokes and walnuts, and laced with fresh thyme and Dijon mustard. To make sure the buns are deserving of our attention, I opted to make fresh, whole wheat biscuits. They are a little more fragile than bread buns, but they are much easier and faster to make.
I’ve been working with a locally milled flour, a soft white wheat produced by Baker’s Field Flour and Bread in Minneapolis.
It’s sold as an all-purpose flour in a few select stores around the Twin Cities, and we are lucky to have access to freshly milled, unique flours like this. If you can grind your own in the blender, buy a soft white whole wheat. I’ve gotten it from Bob’s Red Mill. Or, you can always buy whole wheat pastry flour. The main thing is to have a lower gluten flour, so the biscuits won’t be tough. I went ahead and used some grass-fed butter in the biscuits, but you can keep it vegan by using coconut oil.
For the tofu burgers, just make sure you have the firmest tofu you can find, and don’t crush it too finely. You need a little texture to it, for a burger. Artichoke bottoms are the best, if you haven’t tried them, seek them out. They are the best part of the artichoke, without all the shaggy, hard leaf at the top.
Little food is so fun, I hope that you will have some fun with these sliders.
White Whole Wheat Biscuits in Artichoke Walnut Tofu Sliders
- 2 cups soft white whole wheat flour 250 g
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter or coconut oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk or clabbered soymilk
- 18 ounces extra firm tofu drained
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 14 ounces canned artichoke bottoms drained and patted dry, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- 3 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces finely chopped
- 11 leaves red butter lettuce
- 11 slices tomato
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise your favorite
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using the large holes of a grater, grate in the cold butter, gently tossing to coat with flour. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk or clabbered soymilk. Stir just until a rough shaggy mass forms. Lightly flour a counter and scrape the dough out, pat into a rectangle, then fold in thirds. Pat out to 3/4 inch thick and cut into biscuits with a 2 inch biscuit cutter. Place on a parchment lined pan. Pat the scraps together and press into the biscuit cutter to form the final biscuits.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until the tops are dry and the bottoms are browned. Cool on pans on racks.
- For the burgers, wrap the tofu in a towel to blot dry, press to remove any extra moisture. Crumble into a large bowl. Drain the artichoke bottoms and pat dry, then divide in half. Mince half and add to the bowl. To a food processor, add the oats and grind to a chunky powder. Add the second half of the artichoke bottoms and process to coarsely puree. Scrape into the bowl, and add the thyme, shallots, dijon, salt, and walnut pieces. Mix with your hands, squeezing to make the mixture hold together.
- Scoop 1/4 cup portions onto the second prepared pan, leaving an inch between the portions. Lightly oil your palms and flatten the portions to make 3/4 inch thick burgers.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until firm and a little crusty. Mix the mayo and dijon in a small bowl. Serve on split biscuits, with lettuce, tomato and dijon mayo,.