You can’t go wrong with a tasty homemade veggie burger but it’s even better when you pair it with peaches, halloumi, coriander, and nut butter to create a wonderfully balanced combination of different consistencies and flavours.
I’m always looking forward to trying new combinations for my homemade veggie burgers and I can honestly say this was a really good one. Each ingredient adds nutrients and taste in its own truly unique way:
- the burger with chickpeas and almonds as the main ingredients is pretty basic in taste; I’ve decided to add some courgettes as well, to change the consistency without creating a too strong combination of flavours
- the sauce is quite rich in taste and adds some spiciness to the mix: it’s my go-to nut butter dressing minus turmeric and with a bit of extra cayenne pepper
- the green salad leaves add freshness and the coriander helps in balancing the burger
- the peaches and the slices of halloumi make a perfect pair: one is sweet and soft (and gets even more tasty thank to the quick cooking step), while the other is salty, tangy, and firm
- the bread: you want something able to wrap in a hug all your ingredients, so look for a brioche-style bun; a whole grain option would be delicious. Here I’ve used some homemade chocolate bread but you could virtually use any kind of bun, as long as it’s soft
Halloumi is a Cypriot firm cheese: it’s usually made with goat and sheep milk and it has a pretty unique combination of taste and consistency. If you have never tried it and you love cheese with a strong flavour, definitely give it a go: there are so many recipes in which you can use it! Making the pan-fried halloumi for this recipe is really easy and, while it’s cooking, the tangy notes of this cheese get even better.
I wanted to include in this vegetarian recipe some peaches because they are absolutely delicious when used in savoury preparations: along with plums, strawberries, and blueberries are my favourite kind of fruit to add in a salad, both raw and sautéed or roasted.
CHICKPEA VEGGIE BURGERS WITH FRIED HALLOUMI AND PEACHES
For the vegetarian patties (makes 3-4)
- 220 g cooked chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 40 g almonds
- 100-120 g grated courgettes
- 3-4 tbsp whole grain flour (use oat or brown rice flour if you need a gluten-free option)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For each burger you’ll also need:
- 1-2 slices of halloumi
- 1 small peach (cooked with a pinch of garam masala and olive oil)
- 1-2 leaves of salad (lettuce or romaine)
- 1 small handful of fresh coriander
- approx. 3 tsp of nut butter dressing
- 1 burger bun
To make the patties, blend the chickpeas and the almonds with a couple of tablespoons of water until you get the right consistency according to your preferences. You can add some crunchiness to the patties leaving inside some bigger pieces of almonds and chickpeas, or you can opt for a smoother finish. Place this mix in a bowl along with the grated courgettes, the egg, the spices, and the olive oil: combine all the ingredients, then start adding the flour and check the consistency step by step. The courgettes should not be finely grated, otherwise they will release too much water (use the side with larger holes in the grater or chop them into tiny pieces). Shape the patties using a little bit of olive oil on your hands and be sure they are oiled on top before cooking them. Bake the patties in a preheated oven at 180°C until they turn golden on the outside (approx. 10-15 minutes – don’t overcook them otherwise they will turn out too dry).
To cook the halloumi: prepare a pan over medium heat and fry the thick slices of cheese for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are crispy and golden on the outside.
To cook the peaches: prepare a pan over medium heat with a small drizzle of olive oil, then add the thick slices of peaches seasoned with a pinch of garam masala. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until the slices will be soft and start to turn more golden on the outside (they need to keep their shape).
For the nut butter dressing, use the recipe you can find in this blog post: don’t add turmeric but include a bit more of cayenne pepper according to your preferences.
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