This is my fiftieth blog post which, appropriately, falls about a year after the first. In my twelve months of blogging, I’ve come to realise the importance of having some form of creative outlet: before, the only words I wrote were for purely academic purposes, and I struggled to consistently keep a diary. This blog has pushed me to explore and experiment with food, and I’m proud of it.
I love a good veggie burger, and I’ve always preferred them to meat. Granted, there’s a spectrum of burger quality, but my own personal tastes leant towards the texture of beanburgers. Eating many times in Nandos taught me this, as did barbecue season: the real highlight of the grill, for me, was the halloumi and veggie skewers, not the typically overcooked quarter-pounders. However, I’m not a fan of the mushroom burger: my first (and last) at Byron in York left me heartily disappointed.
A few months ago, I made these beetroot and lentil burgers, and thoroughly enjoyed them: but until I can find a suitable replacement for the egg used to bind them together, I’m on the hunt for other egg-free varieties. Flicking through my Hemsley and Hemsley cookbook, I decided to give these black bean and feta varieties a try.
To make eight patties (I halved everything), you’ll need:
- 2 tbsp ghee (I just used olive oil – I’m sceptical of the Hemsley sister’s lauding of ghee)
- a medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tins of black beans, or 500g homecooked beans (200g dried. ‘Activate’ overnight – i.e., soak.)
- 100g chestnut or buckwheat flour (I used plain)
- a tsp dried oregano or thyme (I also used a tsp of dried rosemary)
- 170g sun-dried chopped tomatoes
- a handful of fresh parsley, or coriander
- a tbsp chopped jalapeños or fresh chilli
- 100g feta cheese
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Finely chop the onion, garlic, chilli, and sun-dried tomatoes, before chopping the parsley.
Gently cook the onion over a medium heat until coloured. Stir in the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, before adding the drained beans.
Mash the beans roughly with a wooden spoon or fork, and let the excess liquid evaporate. Transfer the beans to a mixing bowl and incorporate well with the flour.
Add the rest of the herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, chilli and feta, season with salt and pepper, and, using your hands, fold everything together. When the patty mixture has cooled down a little, divide it equally into eight rounds.
Place each burger on a lined baking tray, and pop in the oven for fifty minutes. They’re ready when golden brown and slightly crispy: slide straight into wholemeal buns or onto the plate, and eat as desired.
This is a fantastic recipe: hands-on but not particularly time-consuming, and yielding some very tasty burgers. The burgers are light, with a delicious saltiness to complement the herby notes. I served mine with sweet potato wedges, homemade hummous, tomatoes, and salad – perfect.