Meatless Monday: Mushroom, Chickpea & Walnut Veggie Burgers with Onion & Basil
By ramsonsandbramble on July 10, 2014
Some walnuts and chickpeas are also included in this dish to bulk out the mushrooms, but they are not the main source of flavour here. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’m sure you could substitute other nuts or beans.
I used chickpeas that I had cooked from dry (I soaked and boiled a massive batch, then froze them in portions for later use). I haven’t tried them with tinned chickpeas. They would probably be fine, though sometimes tinned chickpeas are a little softer than those you cook yourself. Please do let me know how it turned out if you make this substitution.
Instead of using an egg and/or flour to bind these burgers, I opted for flax meal. This option is not only vegan, gluten-free and packed with nutritious omega-3s, it is much more effective. The ground flax seed is mixed with a little water and left for about half an hour until the gelatinous seeds absorb the water, making a viscous liquid. This paste really is amazing at sticking things together!
All the ingredients for this burger are cooked in advance and roughly ground before adding the flax binder. The final step, before shaping them, is to pulse it all a few times in a food processor. This step really brings it all together in a way that simple hand mixing cannot, even though the ingredients are already is quite small pieces. It turns a fairly loose mixture which does not really hold together into a moist, easy to shape burger mix.
To give them the very best shape, I use my hands first, then wrap them individually in clingfilm. Once they are wrapped. they can be given another press and shape, evening out any cracking in the side – this is much easier with this method. I then rest them in the fridge for an hour or so to allow them to set properly. They will sit quite happily in the fridge for several days or you can put the wrapped burger patties in a plastic bag or container and freeze them for several months. I always make a large batch and freeze them, as it’s such a satisfying and healthy meal to have on hand (unless you serve them with a massive quantity of chips/fries that is). Let them defrost in the fridge before using.
There is no problem at all with cooking these patties. They hold together beautifully, even when cooked in a very light film of oil – just make sure you use something a bit non-stick (I used a cast iron skillet). I haven’t tried them on a barbecue, but I see no reason why they wouldn’t be excellent. No second-rate, sad-looking vegetarian option in your barbecue!
One, very minor, word of warning. They do squish a little when chomped down on. They are still absolutely delicious, but when pressed between a super crusty bun (as I did) there is a chance of you losing a bit of your burger out the other side. There are two options here. You can either just pick the bit of burger up and shove it in your mouth (my preferred option) or you can use a softer bun. You will then have no problems at all.
Obviously, you can serve these burger with any kinds of toppings that take your fancy. I have had them with avocado, roasted peppers, fresh red onion, cheese and salad on various different occasions and they were all wonderful.
As mentioned earlier, a fried egg would also be a great addition. Serve with a big salad for a healthy option or with my Oven-Roasted Spicy Potatoes or Baked Potato-Parmesan Wedges, for a heartier meal. Oooh, or with a side of macaroni and cheese for the very decadent. That would be lovely…
What does your ideal burger look like?
Click to see the fully formatted, printable recipe on Ramsons & Bramble
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