The sun has finally got his hat on! Hip hip hip hooray!
Well, actually, he had it on over the weekend, but seems to have taken it part of the way off again today. The joys of living in Britain.
Anyway, as soon as the sun shines, my thoughts turn to summer foods – picnics, salads, BBQs… and although I didn’t actually cook these chickpea burgers on a BBQ, a big fat burger stuffed with salad and drenched in ketchup and mayonnaise is definitely enough to make me feel summery. If you do want to use your BBQ, I’d recommend cooking them in the oven beforehand to let them firm up, and then reheating them later on the grill – you’ll still get that charred BBQ flavour, even if they’ve been pre-cooked.
I used my favourite egg-and-baking method (ha, it’s funny because it sounds like egg-and-bacon) for these chickpea burgers to help them stick together – add an egg to the veggie burger mixture and then bake them, and they hold together and firm up beautifully. I did try frying one too, but they were much better done in the oven – which is good, because it’s the healthier way of cooking them.
I often find chickpea burgers a bit dry (I’m looking at you, falafel), but the egg in these also serves to keep them nice and moist. The feta helps a lot too – there’s nothing better than biting into a juicy, salty chunk of feta cheese in the middle of your burger. When you’re making these, make sure you don’t cut your feta into pieces that are too tiny – its flavour becomes a lot milder as it cooks, so you need nice big chunks to get the flavour you want.
I stuffed my burger bun with more spinach (because why the heck not), some fresh tomato and a good smear of mayonnaise, and it went down a treat. I used a nice crusty roll too, because I personally find them much tastier than a soft burger bun – but use whatever bread and burger toppings you fancy!
- 1½ x 400g tins chickpeas, drained (360g in total once drained)
- 1 egg
- 120g feta cheese, cut into 1cm dice
- 40g spinach, finely chopped
- 3tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- Black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- Add the chickpeas and the egg to a food processor, and process for 30 seconds or so until a thick paste is formed. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl, and add the feta, spinach, parsley and spring onions. Season with plenty of black pepper and a touch of salt (remember that the feta is salty too), and mix well.
- Shape the mixture into a few burger shapes (I made 5, but you could easily make 4 or 6 if you prefer), and place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Place in the oven for around 40 minutes, until firm and golden brown.