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Mushroom burgers with chickpeas

An all natural, protein-rich veggie burger packed with nutritious - and DELICIOUS - ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg chestnut mushrooms
  • 1-2 onion diced 1cm
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 300 g cooked chickpeas
  • 80 g walnuts
  • 50 g or one medium bunch basil leaves
  • 12 g or 2 heaped teaspoons ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 230c. Chop the mushrooms into small pieces. You don't need to be very precise about this, but the pieces should be less than 1cm square. Scatter over two baking trays and bake, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and there is no water pooled on the tray - about 30 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.
  • Mix the ground flaxseed with enough water to cover and set aside - it will thicken up while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Sauté the onions over a medium heat until they start to soften, then add the garlic. Continue to cook until both are softened, translucent and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Add to the mushrooms.
  • In a food processor, pulse the cooked chickpeas to crumbs - it's okay if there's a few whole chickpeas left. Add to the mushroom mixture.
  • Add the walnuts to the food processor and pulse to crumbs. Add to the mushroom mixture.
  • Chop the basil fairly finely and add to the mixture.
  • Add the flaxseed binder to the mixture. The easiest thing here is to mix it all with your hands to make sure the binder is evenly distributed.
  • At this point, the mixture will still feel fairly loose and will be quite difficult to press together with your hands. Return the whole mixture to the food processor, working in a couple of batches if you have a small machine. Pulse a few times until the mixture looks lighter and more homogenous - some chunks are fine. Try and press some together with your fingers. It should stick together easily, but if it doesn't, pulse until it does.
  • Return to the bowl and add the seasoning, mixing thoroughly with your hands. Taste the mixture and make sure the seasoning is correct.
  • Shape the mixture into patties - I got 8 large (8-9cm) burgers from this quantity. Wrap each patty in a small piece of clingfilm - once the burger is wrapped in clingfilm it is easier to shape into a perfect round, if that's what you want. Refrigerate for about an hour for them to firm up, or freeze for future use.
  • When you are ready to cook them, heat a thin layer of oil over medium heat in a heavy frying pan. Something nonstick is good - I used a cast iron skillet. Cook on both sides until nicely browned. All the ingredients are already cooked, so you are just reheating and adding some nice colour and crispy texture to the burgers.
  • Serve however you like your burgers! I added cheese, roasted red peppers and avocado, and served on a sourdough rye bun with a big green salad.

Notes

The burgers hold together very well when cooked, but when chomped down on they squish a little. The best way to avoid this is to use a softer bun - I used a very crusty bun which put a lot of pressure on the burger when the two halves were pressed together. It was still freakin' delicious though, so I only include this information so you can make an informed choice!