Our family consists of two vegetarians and two people who consciously eat organic meat every now and then. In practice, this means they usually join us for vegetarian meals, because it is convenient and, fortunately, because they like them very much. But sometimes they’re really in the mood for an old favourite, like an old fashioned beefburger with cheese, ketchup, tomatoes and lots of lettuce. In general I’m not a fan of meat imitating vegetarian substitutes. But at nights like this it’s nice if the four of us can all sink our teeth in a bun with sliced veg and something warm. That’s why I started experimenting with burger recipes, looking for flavour and a lot of texture. To my taste, these chickpea burgers are the successful result!
The first time I made chickpea burgers, the occasion was a free spice mix sample I received especially for that purpose. The mix contained many different spices and above all a lot of salt, which isn’t really my taste. I think chickpeas don’t need all that much to taste good. In these burgers I combine them with almonds, spring onions, garlic, fresh ginger and a little ground cumin. I bake them in the oven coated in fresh breadcrumbs, which makes them lovely and crunchy. Prepared like this, you get burgers with a mild, spicy flavour which combines wonderfully well with lamb’s lettuce, cucumber slices and my daughters’ favourite sauce, very easy cucumber and yogurt sauce. If this all seems rather too light and fresh for your taste, I can really recommend serving them with oven baked spicy sweet potato fries. This combination is so nourishing and comforting that lately on hamburger nights our meat-eating family members tend to join us for the veggie option. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we do!
Chickpea burgers with almonds and cucumber sauce – serves 4
- 8 slices of white bread, crusts removed
- 50 g skin-on almonds, ground
- 400 g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 1 thumb-size piece of fresh root ginger, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- 4 wholemeal buns
- 1 four-person portion of very easy cucumber and yogurt sauce
- 75 g lamb’s lettuce
- ½ cucumber, skin on, sliced
Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas 6.
In a food processor, whizz the bread to crumbs. Remove from the bowl and set aside.
Tip the chickpeas into the food processor bowl, along with the ground almonds, 4 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs, the spring onions, ginger, garlic and spices. Pulse it to a course mass, then spoon half of it into a separate bowl. Break one of the two eggs over the remaining mixture in the food processor and pulse through. Add this to the courser chickpea mixture. Mix well, then shape into four patties.
Whisk the second egg in a bowl. Spread ⅓ of the remaining breadcrumbs onto a plate.
Press the down side of the burgers onto the breadcrumbs, then place them on a lined baking sheet. Brush the top side and the edges of the burgers with the whisked egg, then spread over the last portion of the breadcrumbs, pressing gently so they’ll stick.
Sprinkle with sunflower oil and bake them for 25 minutes until golden brown.
Halve the buns, dress them generously with cucumber sauce and divide over the lamb’s lettuce. Top each bun with a burger and a pile of cucumber slices.
Eat them as they are, or combined with sweet potato fries.