Monday, 4 August 2008

Veggie Burgers

What do you make when you're home late, you're hungry, you kind of want a burger but maybe something lighter and you want it FAST? A homemade veggie burger! With some sort of protein, of course - I get anxious about meals made with not enough protein.

This veggie burger is one of my least photogenic creations, but as I still wanted to show you what it looked like I have taken more of an action shot - burgers in the frying pan.

Veggie Burgers
(makes 4 large burgers, could serve 2-4 depending on how hungry you are!)

1 can of chickpeas, drained (400g chickpeas)
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper

Put the onion, pepper and garlic on a tray, spray a little olive oil on them and season. Put them in the oven on a high temperature or put them under the grill for about 15 minutes. While you are doing this you could be thinking about the accompaniment to your meal. I think these would go well with pitta bread and salad - we actually had them with chips, because we were thinking about burgers and chips. If you're having something like chips, put these in the oven at the same time.

When the vegetables are cooked and maybe a little bit blackened, take them out of the oven and tip them into a food processor. Add the drained chickpeas, and whizz. Taste the mixture and see what you think - I added a little tabasco sauce, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper at this stage and the result was a very flavoursome and slightly spicy burger. Experiment with other flavours and seasonings (and indeed with other vegetables) as you wish.

It is probably preferable to chill the mixture once it is all blended, so put it in the fridge but don't worry too much - I only had it in there for about 15 minutes while I waited for the chips to finish cooking. Heat a frying pan with about a teaspoon of olive oil, and when hot add the mixture in spoonfuls, shaping them into flat patties as you put them in the pan. I made 4 large burgers with this mixture - you may prefer to make smaller burgers, which would be more manageable when trying to flip them over. Cook for a few minutes on each side, and then serve!

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