Sometimes our bodies crave veggies but our minds crave comfort food. On such days, my favorite compromise is the oh-so-classic veggie burger with a few not-so-classic twists. I make my veggie burgers with chickpeas and add flavor with garlic, capers, lemon and mint, creating a burger that’s half way to becoming felafel but with a brighter flavor and much less fat. As binders, I use both eggs and goat ricotta (although soft goat cheese works too!), giving the burgers a beautiful richness and saltiness. I pan fry mine, but you could also bake them in the oven on broil for about five minutes each side, watching carefully for browning.
I usually serve these chickpea burgers on whole-grain ciabatta buns with a roasted red pepper sauce called ajvar, some sriratcha and scallions but I’m sure they would also be amazing with barbecue sauce or even the holy burger trinity of relish, mustard and ketchup. They go great with salad, but feel free to eat them with fries for a little extra decadence (I certainly won’t tell, pinky swear!).
1 can of chickpeas
5 tbsp pumpkin seeds
5 tbsp rice flour (or any flour, this is just what I had in my pantry)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 handful mint, chopped finely
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp capers, chopped finely
5 scallions, chopped finely
Juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 large egg
6 tbsp goat ricotta (or soft goat cheese)
- Heat the chickpeas in the microwave on high for two minutes. Put chickpeas in a large plastic bowl and start smashing them with a potato masher.
- Add the rest of the ingredients in no particular order until mixture is sticky but holds together. If falling apart, add a little more flour. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.
- Shape into small balls using the palms of your hands, flattening each ball into a uniform disk. I made eight in total.
- Place the burgers on a large plate covered with plastic and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
- Fry in olive oil in a large pan on medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side until burgers are cooked through and crispy and brown on the outside.
- Serve hot with various breads and condiments.