PREP TIME 10 mins | READY IN 20 mins | SERVES 6
I STARTED MY professional cooking career in 1997 in a small, refined restaurant in Ottawa. At that time, "plant-based" eating wasn’t even a twinkle in anyone’s eye, and we had just one token non-meat item on the menu. It was never a big seller. As such, it often fell to me, the novice, to invent. Anxious to prove myself, I did extensive research after-hours, diving deep into Ayurvedic and macrobiotic cooking, as well as old issues of Gourmet.
One day I came up with something similar to these burgers, a blend of chickpeas, nuts and rosemary; it was listed on our menu with the unfortunate name of “Nut Burger.” It wasn’t a great seller, but my chef loved it. It earned me one of his rare but sincere compliments, and so it remains a treasured recipe to me.
It’s important not to drain the chickpeas for this. Their liquid, called aquafaba, is a terrific binder and replaces the eggs I originally used, making these completely vegan. Click here for a full list of ordinary pantry ingredients that also happen to be vegan!
I shared this recipe on Nov 1, 2021 on Cityline. This recipe is from my bestselling book Dinner, Uncomplicated: Fixing a Delicious Meal Every Night of the Week.
Chickpea and Rosemary Nut Burgers
540-mL can chickpeas (not drained)
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup panko
1 large garlic clove
1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Buns and condiments, for serving
1. Combine all of the ingredients, except the canola oil, in a food processor. Purée until smooth. Shape into 6 patties (the mixture will be sticky, and shaping the patties is easier with slightly wet hands) and place on a parchment-lined baking dish. Chill at least 20 minutes, and for as long as 24 hours.
2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium high. Brush each patty with a little canola oil and add to the pan. Cook about 2 minutes per side, or until golden, then reduce the heat to low and cook another 5 to 7 minutes, or until piping hot (poke a small knife or metal skewer into the centre of the patty and then place the utensil on your lower lip—it should feel very warm).
3. Serve on buns with sliced tomatoes, onions and condiments.
Click below for a printable version of this recipe.