We decided to make something out of the norm today. And that means something healthy and possibly vegetarian. Today it was both! AND BOY WAS IT YUMMY.
A couple of months ago we had the amazing opportunity to dine at an incredible vegetarian restaurant in Spain, it was amazing, and blew even K’s sandals off (he’s usually ever-so-inclined to the carnivorous side). Crisp croquettes of carrot, cinnamon and courgette; spinach tagliatelle bathed in basil sauce…. It was such an epitome of vegetarian food. Such possibilities!
Whilst being really healthy for you and an inexpensive alternative to fill up on, beans taste kinda meh. Like plain. And a little bland. Hence, we spiced the heck out of them. We’ve used canned butter beans simply because they’re neutral tasting and convenient, and oomphed them up with paprika, chilli, olives, garlic and onions. The recipe is flexible depending on the amount of spice (and heat- we do like it spicy so we’ve used 1 tsp of extra-hot chilli powder. Omit if you don’t like spicy heat)… Do improvise depending on what’s available in your pantry. Served in a homemade soft sesame seed burger bap (the recipe here!) with cucumber pickles, buttered mushrooms and wilted spinach, I can’t think of a better way to wind down and end the week. TGIF everyone!
Spiced Bean Burgers
Makes 2 large patties or 4 small ones
- 125g canned butter beans
- 1 small carrot, grated
- 5 pitted black olives, chopped
- 1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
- 1 tsp extra-hot chilli powder
- 1 tsp salt (or less if you don’t like salt)
- 1 pinch mixed spice
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup panko or dried breadcrumbs
- Cornflour, to dust
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2-inch portion of cucumber, finely sliced
- A splash of white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
1. Sautee the onion and garlic with a little oil over medium-low heat till onions are soft and translucent. Set aside
2. In a bowl, mash butter beans coarsely with a fork
3. Add in all the remaining ingredients as well as the softened onion and garlic. Mix well to combine.
4. Shape into 2 large patties, or 4 smaller ones. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to help the patties firm up.
5. Dust the bean burgers with a thin layer of cornflour before cooking. Heat up vegetable oil in a pan and fry the bean burgers till they’re golden and crisp on the outside. Alternatively, bean burgers can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours until frying.
1. To make cucumber pickles, combine cucumber slices, vinegar, salt and sugar in a small dish and let sit for at least half an hour before using.
To assemble burgers, split burger baps and toast on a pan (we had leftover eggwash so we brushed on a layer of egg before toasting- like french toast!). We had this with spinach leaves, mushrooms and cucumber pickles, but feel free to use your favourite salad leaves and condiments!
(The lighting is weird, sorry! Winter approaching = short daylight, sigh.)
Enjoy this veggie treat!