by Alice Lyons
We are clinging on to summer with today’s #MeatFreeMonday recipe for gorgeous,vegan Portobello Pecan Burgers. These hefty crowd-pleasers come to us courtesy of Lee Watson from Beach House Kitchen and will help your last barbecues of the year go out with a bang.
For the burgers:
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 350g Portobello mushrooms, cut into cubes
- 1 aubergine, chopped into 2cm pieces
- A large pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 20g dried seaweed, cut into very fine ribbons
- 175g flageolet beans, soaked overnight, then cooked with ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and cooled, or 1½ x 400g tins
- 120g toasted pecans
- 100g red or brown rice, cooked and cooled
- 2 heaped tbsp brown miso
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g fine wholewheat breadcrumbs (you can also use gluten free breadcrumbs)
For the Pumpkin wedges :
- 750g pumpkin, scrubbed, seeded and cut into 5cm wedges
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- A large pinch of sea salt
- 8 seeded wholewheat rolls, halved (for gluen-free aternative, use your favourite GF bread)
- 1 big handful sun-blushed tomatoes
- Buttery lettuce leaves (something like oak-leaf)
- To make the pumpkin wedges, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Put the pumpkin on a baking tray, toss with the oil and salt, and roast for 30 minutes, turning over once. The pumpkin should be tender and nicely coloured.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy frying pan on a medium-low heat and add the mushrooms and aubergines. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for a further 5 minutes, until the aubergine is soft. Stir in the oregano leaves and set aside in a bowl.
- In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on a medium-high heat and cook the onion and celery for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and seaweed and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and combine with the aubergines and mushrooms.
- In a food processor, combine half the beans, pecans, aubergine mix and rice with the miso, sifting in the bicarbonate of soda. Blitz to a thick paste. Add the breadcrumbs and the rest of the beans, rice and aubergine mix, along with the rest of the pecans. Pulse until a chunky mix forms, coarse in texture but finely chopped. Check the seasoning – the miso is quite salty. Transfer the mix to a bowl, combining it all well with your hands. Form the mix into 6–8 fat burgers. Put them into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Pop an ovenproof frying pan on a medium-high heat and lightly oil it. Cook each burger for 5 minutes per side, until beautifully light brown. If they lose shape and are unruly in the pan, press them down using the back of a spatula. Veggie burgers are sensitive and need to be handled with soft hands (and spatulas).
- Put all the burgers into a warm oven, 150°C/gas mark 2, for 10 minutes to finish cooking. Cut your bread rolls in half and put them into the warm oven for 5 minutes.
On the base of each warm roll, scatter sun-blushed tomatoes (with a little of their oil) and top with a lettuce leaf, the burger and a good topping of macadamia tarragon aioli (recipe in the book). With the warm pumpkin wedges.