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Homemade veggie burgers 03/05/12

Michelle Edwards puts Gwyneth's Veggie Burger recipe to the test.

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Recipe test from Notes from My Kitchen Table by Gwyneth Paltrow

These delicious babies took about an hour to make, from start to finish. I never pay attention to the preparation times given in cookbooks – they invariably underestimate how long it takes me to finely dice an onion. Gwyneth reckons the total prep time for these is 25 minutes plus at least 10 minutes for cooling, which was closer to 20 minutes when I made them.

They’re listed as vegan or vegetarian, and, of course, this depends on your toppings. My combo of goat’s cheese, mayonnaise (Gwyneth would use her “most beloved ingredient”, Vegenaise), guacamole, lettuce and sliced plum tomato was most excellent, but you can obviously use whatever fixings you like.

I doubled all the ingredients because I was cooking for four hungry adults – Gwyneth’s recipe is supposed to serve four, but even with doubling the ingredients, we only ended up with 6 decent-sized burger patties.

Ingredients (as listed, with my adaptations in brackets)

– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– 1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
– 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
– ¼ teaspoon ground cumin (I was more generous with the cumin, and I added chipotle as well – but if you’re making these for kids, I imagine you’d want to go easy on the spices)
– ½ teaspoon coarse salt
– ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– 1 410g can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used two 410g tins of red kidney beans)
– 75g cooked brown rice (my rough estimate puts 75g of raw rice at 1 cup of cooked rice – so I used two cups of previously cooked, refrigerated brown rice. I think that the colder the rice is, the stickier it is, which helps to hold the patties together)
– 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
– 2 tablespoons flour
– 3 tablespoons safflower oil (I used canola)
– 4 wholemeal hamburger buns (6 for me)

Method (more or less verbatim, with my notes in brackets)

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Saute the onion, garlic and cumin together until softened – about 7 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, beans and rice and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the coriander and mash the mixture with a potato masher just to combine and get some cohesion – you want the burgers to have some texture.

Let the mixture cool until it’s easy to handle. Form the mixture into 4 burger patties. At this point, you can set the burgers in the fridge for a few hours.

Dust on both sides with flour (you want to be quite generous here – I coated mine thoroughly with flour on both sides, which produced a lovely crunchy crust when fried). Heat the safflower oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and brown the burgers on both sides, about a minute on each side (depending on how thick your patties are – mine took about three minutes per side).


Serve them on grilled wholemeal buns (place the halved buns on top of your toaster and switch it on, keeping an eye on them – they will toast really quickly and the bonus is that you won’t have to fish them out the slot with a knife when they’re finished) with all of your favourite toppings.


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