One of the first ‘veggie burgers’ I ever tried was a disc of butternut squash, roasted and sprinkled with basil. Whilst some might scoff at the lack of effort involved on the chef’s part, something about the simple flavour combination made it really memorable.
This recipe starts with that simplicity, adds more texture and a few additional herbs and spices to create a substantial gourmet veggie burger!
(Makes 4-6 burgers)
500g butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed)
1/2 cup oats
2/3 cup wheat gluten
1/2 cup cooked bulgar wheat
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
Small bunch chopped coriander
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 390°F/200°C
Cut butternut squash into 1 inch cubes. Toss with a little oil, and the herbs and spices.
Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Add the pumpkin seeds and a few dashes of balsamic vinegar, stir through, and roast for a further 15 minutes.
Leave the roast squash to cool for about 10 minutes, and combine the oats and wheat gluten in a large bowl.
Once cool enough to handle, puree the squash mixture with a blender until smooth. You might still have a few chunks of pumpkin seed left, but that’s ok. Season to taste.
Roughly chop the cilantro, and add it to the dry ingredients along with the puree and cooked bulgar wheat.
Stir everything together, then get your hands in there and shape into individual burgers.
Fry in a pan over a low heat, flipping over so as not to burn.
Depending on what you’re serving them with, this recipe can feed between 3 and 6 people; with a hearty quinoa salad, one burger in a bread bun might be enough. If not, two will be plenty. You can also save the patties in the fridge and fry up the next day.
As there’s a fair deal of bulk in the way of bulgar wheat and oats, you might want to serve these on a bed of rocket with some simple roast vegetables, rather than in a bun – or, as we did, on top of a quinoa salad, with homemade bread on the side, with hummus and tahini sauce.