I am always keen to introduce more vegetarian dishes into our diet. I was vegetarian, or almost vegetarian, for about 15 years, but then after becoming pretty anaemic in the process of having babies I introduced red meat back into my diet. There are still some forms of it that I don’t like, steak has most people drooling but it just makes me feel nauseous!
I remember when I was vegetarian eating a chickpea and pumpkin burger several times from a gourmet burger chain and really enjoying it. This is my attempt to reproduce that.
300g pumpkin or squash (butternut squash is a better option as it is drier), cut into about 5 or 6 small chunks with the skin still on but seeds removed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 t curry powder
1 T oil
420g tin chickpeas
4 slices bread
oil to shallow fry
4 burger buns (or more if you have a hungry crew)
cheese, lettuce, beetroot, chutney, mayonnaise etc to put in the burgers
6 potatoes (medium – large)
2 T finely grated parmesan
1 t chicken stock
1 1/2 T flour
2 t smoked paprika (my favourite!)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 T oil (2 for wedges mix, 2 to cook them in)
1. Heat the oven to 190 C fanbake and once hot put the pumpkin in to cook for around 20 – 25 mins until cooked through. Cool slightly.
2. Once the pumpkin is in prepare the wedges. Slice the potatoes in half long ways and then into quarters. Cut each quarter into 2 – 3 wedges and pat dry with a tea towel. Place in a large bowl.
3. Mix the parmesan, chicken stock, flour, paprika, garlic and 1 measure of oil together in a small bowl. Rub all over the wedges in the bowl.
4. Preheat the oil in a large oven dish in the oven for about 5 mins. Put the wedges in. Turn them every 10 mins to ensure even browning and cook for around 30 mins until crispy and cooked through. Once the pumpkin is out of the oven you can turn it up to about 200 C.
5. Place the 1 T oil in a frying pan on low – medium heat and add the chopped onion and garlic., Stir often until onion is soft. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. You can add more curry powder if your family’s palate likes things more strongly flavoured.
6. Place the bread in the food processor and pulse to crumb. Place half the breadcrumbs on a plate and leave the other half in the food processor.
7. Remove the pumpkin flesh from the skin and place in the food processor with the onion mixture, chickpeas and egg (half the breadcrumbs are already in there). Pulse to mix. You ideally want a few of the chickpeas to not be completely pulsed into the mix.
8. Form the mixture into patties and roll in the extra breadcrumbs. Shallow fry in oil until golden on both sides.
9. To serve the burgers place the buns on an oven tray cut in half (not quite the whole way through) with the cut side up. Place a slice of cheese on one side. Grill in the oven until slightly golden and warmed.
10. Place a piece of lettuce on each bun, top with the patty and anything else you want to put in your burger. Serve with the wedges and a salad on the side.