sometimes, what you want is a burger. and burgers can be made from anything, really, so a burger made from chickpeas, is every bit a burger. meat does not hold a monopoly on burgers!
vegetarian burgers come in so many incarnations. this one is not a meat substitute. it’s made with chickpeas, flavoured with garlic and herbs, and is almost like a fritter, so it holds together when you cook it. it’s a bit wet, so use floured hands to shape them.
it’s smeared with a smoky feta and red pepper spread, and piled with greens and avocado on a handmade brioche bun. le yum.
if you have a flat-top or a non-stick pan, use it for this recipe, and you’ll be happy, not swearing.
you can make these up and fry them in advance, up to 2 days, then reheat on a sheet pan. yay! we love do-aheads…
chickpea burgers with smoky red pepper spread
1 14-oz can chickpeas, drained
salt and fresh pepper
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. cilantro leaves
2 tbsp, mint leaves
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 green onions, roughly chopped
1 thai chili, roughly chopped
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
canola oil for frying
place the drained chickpeas, a dash of salt and a few grindings of pepper, the garlic, cilantro, mint, lemon zest and juice, green onions, and thai chili. blitz a few times to break up the chickpeas so that some are mashed but some chunks remain. add the egg and butter and pulse a few times to combine. turn out into a bowl. mix together the flour and baking powder and stir into chickpea mixture. chill completely.
divide into 4 portions (you can make them smaller and divide into 6 if you wish). use floured hands to form into balls, and flatten slightly. heat a flat-top griddle or non-stick pan to high. brush with canola oil. place burgers on hot griddle, reduce heat to medium-high and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until golden and firm.
serve on split, toasted buns with tomato slices, avocado, and smoky red pepper spread.
smoky red pepper spread
1 red pepper
1/2 cup feta cheese, broken up
1 tbsp. hot smoked paprika
squeeze of lemon juice
2 tbsp. plain, natural yogurt
char the pepper over a gas flame, on the grill, or under the broiler, until blackened and blistered on all sides. place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and cool completely. use a paper towel to rub off the skin. pop the pepper open and remove the seeds. don’t rinse the pepper! place in the bowl of a food processor with the feta and the paprika. process until smooth-ish. add the yogurt, 1 tbsp at a time, until mixture is spreadable. add lemon juice. scrape into a covered container and chill.