Summer is for burgers, and burgers are for barbecues and barbecues are for people who have a yard or a balcony or an outdoor space of some kind. I do not, in my current apartment, have any sort of outdoor space and so no barbecue and so not very many burgers. I do make them on the stove top occasionally, but it's not the same as barbecuing, it just doesn't seem quite right. Sometimes I think crazy thoughts like, "Maybe if I open ALL the windows, it would be fine to use a little barbecue inside..." and that kind of thinking is how bad decisions get made. I really need to move to somewhere with a yard so I can barbecue without risking gassing myself.
So I made these chickpea burgers in the oven, and then I reheated them in a grill pan to make them look barbecued so I can pretend I am living a life that involves real barbecuing. The grilling part is optional, you can use them straight out of the oven if you want to. Extras freeze really well and you can thaw them and reheat them in the oven or in a grill pan, or on the barbecue if you are blessed with a yard.
Veggie burgers can be great, they can also be really boring and sad and I feel like the toppings often make or break the veggie burger. They tend to be on the bland side and are therefore excellent vehicles for tasty spreads and crispy greens. I made two spreads for these burgers; a roasted red pepper feta spread (which I make quite a bit to eat on slices of cucumbers and carrots) and mayo with preserved lemons and chilies. The mild nuttiness of chickpeas is an excellent canvass for these bold flavours.
- one tin chickpeas
- 1/4-1/2 cup chickpea flour, and a little extra for dredging
- one egg
- one shallot or small yellow onion
- one clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- salt and pepper
Blend everything together in a food processor, adjusting the chickpea flour until a very thick paste is formed. Scoop out 1/4 cups of the mixture and coat them in extra chickpea flour. An ice cream scoop with a release mechanism works great for the scooping because the mixture is very sticky. Place the scoops onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten into 4 inch rounds. Bake patties at 350 for 10 minutes, until they are browned on the bottom, flip over and bake for 5-10 more minutes, until set and brown on both sides. If you want to, grill them on a barbecue or grill pan until nice grill marks appear.
red pepper feta spread:
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 3-4 pieces of jarred roasted red pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- lots of fresh ground pepper
Blend everything together in a food processor until it forms a paste.
spicy preserved lemon mayo:
- 1/4 a preserved lemon and a small fresh red chili, roughly chopped together
- 1 large or extra large egg (medium eggs or smaller will need two)
- 1 cup light, neutral oil, almond works well
Immersion blender method: in a pint size mason jar with a wide mouth opening (or similarly shaped container) that fits the immersion blender, place an egg and a cup of oil. Place the immersion blender all the way into the jar and blend, holding the blender still until the mayo becomes very thick. Add the preserved lemon and blend until incorporated.
Food processor method: Put the egg in the food processor and, with the machine running, add oil in a slow stream. Once emulsified, add preserved lemon and chile and blend until incorporated.
I put spinach, pea shoots and avocado on these burgers, and lots of feta pepper spread and lemon mayo.
Photo credit: Tyrel Hiebert