This is my first day off from work since last Monday, which may not sound very absurd to those of you who have worked full-time for years, but I’m really not used to it. I didn’t work a single day whilst at university, which means for the best part of 3 years I’ve had only to concentrate on studies and music – thank God I’m working expressly to go back to university and do a Master’s degree. As such, I can’t really complain – I need just about as much money as I can happily earn. However, it does mean that blogging regularly can be a little difficult, hence the lack of new post over the past few days.
A day off has, however, allowed me to get back to creating slightly inventive lunches. These burgers or patties – whatever you want to call them – really are incredibly delicious, far better than I thought they would be. They also happened to be exceedingly frugal and frightfully healthy. Actually, on the flavour side of things I do have one piece of advice: use chestnut mushrooms. They have such an amazing, intense, nutty flavour that normal white or button mushrooms simply don’t possess. Cost wise they are slightly more expensive, but at only 10 pence more expensive per 100g I’m sure we’ll live with that.
These burgers have also reaffirmed my love for simple vegetarian food. Someone I know recently made the point that cuisine that is sans meat requires a little extra care and attention to ensure that it has a complete body of flavour. While I know this isn’t always the case and that it is a bit of a generalisation, it remains a good point and is one of the reasons behind my enjoyment of vegetarian cooking.
Chestnut Mushroom and Chickpea Burgers
Makes 4 burgers
• 250g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
• 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 2 large cloves of garlic, mashed
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp ground coriander
• ¼ tsp ground turmeric
• ½ tsp chilli flakes
• Large handful of breadcrumbs, 80-100g
• Small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
• Olive oil
1. Fry the garlic and spices off quickly in some hot oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until almost dry. Expect lots of water to be released from the mushrooms.
2. Mash the chickpeas with a fork leaving them with a little texture, a quick turn in the food processor would have the same effect.
3. Mix together the mushrooms, chickpeas, breadcrumbs and coriander, season well and shape into 4 burgers. Fry in olive oil until golden brown on each side. Serve in a bun or in a wrap with some salad and a sauce of your choice. They would also be delicious with a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Cost: The ingredients which were used to create these four burgers came to around £1.70. Considering that I’d quite happily eat one of these instead of a beef burger, and perhaps even prefer to do so, that’s a pretty damn goof price!