So here is my take on the ultimate veggie burger…well almost. As soon as I made the burger and took my first bite, I was hooked! But then that annoying thing happens when I start to think, what else can I do to this veggie burger to make it even more amazing? Add a crispy onion ring on top? Yes! Replace the avocado with thin slices of pickled beetroot? Yes! The pairing between the salty halloumi and the sweet beetroot would be amazing. How about adding a few sundried tomatoes to the actual burger mix, for a hint of sweetness? Yes, that could work! So you can see, I could easily go on and on about the number of tweaks and variations I could try with this burger. But before I carry on, let me stop myself right there – this burger does tick all the points on my list of what makes a very tasty veggie burger. And the key point is – do I miss the meat? And the answer is NO! Phew!
Plus, there is another good thing about this burger – it is definitely nowhere near as calorific as a proper beef burger, which normally is something I don’t really think about, but when you are trying to keep a ‘clean’ as possible January going, this is definitely a plus!
The topping I have paired with the burger is a spicy, chili humus. It is not entirely a humus, in that there is no tahini, but in its place I have added sesame oil, which suits the dip perfectly (especially with the addition of the chili).
Right, so on with the recipe. It serves 4 and is pretty straightforward and easy, and I will keep you up to date on the latest variations I try…I am thinking ‘Greek’ style – so topped with crumbled feta and a good size dollop of a homemade olive tapenade. Great, now I am hungry – YET again!
65 grams uncooked quinoa & freekah combination (can just use quinoa, or bulgur wheat)
150 grams broad beans, cooked (skins removed if they are a bit tough)
100 grams garden peas, cooked
1 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 tsp dried cumin
1 tsp dried dill (or handful fresh dill)
50 grams breadcrumbs
¼ bundle / handful fresh parsley
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Salt and Pepper, to season
Plain flour, just enough to coat the burgers
1 ripe avocado, sliced
8 slices Halloumi, pan fried or grilled
4 white burger buns, warmed
1 can chickpeas, drained
3 garlic cloves
½ red chili, diced
1½ tablespoons sesame oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lemon, juice only
To start off, make the chili humus. This is really straightforward, just put all of the ingredients in a food processor (apart from the extra virgin olive oil) and give this a good blitz. Gradually add in the extra virgin oil while the motor is running until you get the right consistency. Usually, you will need about 80mls of olive oil. Set this aside.
To get on with the burgers, sauté the red onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil, until nice and soft – about 5 minutes. Chuck this into a food processor, as well as the peas, broad beans, parsley, cumin, dill, quinoa, freekah, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and give this a good blitz – until a paste has formed, and you can mould the mixture quite easily. Finally add in the sunflower and sesame seeds and give this all one final quick blitz.
Now form this mixture into 4 patties, and toss them into a bit of plain flour – just enough to coat. Put the burgers in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, just to firm up and to make sure they don’t fall apart when pan frying.
Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat, and pour in a good glug of olive oil. When the pan is hot enough, add in the burgers. Cook them for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden. Serve immediately over a heaped tablespoon of the chili humus, and finish off with the grilled halloumi, avocado, rocket and a drizzle of olive oil. And you’re done!