It's been a busy start to the summer. First we spent a week in Sardinia, where we ate ALL the pasta and spent every day swimming. I promise you, there is a recipe or two that I need to share with you from our time in Sardinia however, we came back to BBQ & outdoor cooking season and a I came up with a recipe I just HAVE to share!
How it came about was...
We came back from our holiday with a BANG! Our lovely friends from Sacramento, California were visiting, so we decided to host a BBQ/Garden Party/Mini Festival in our garden in their honour. We like to throw just one big party a year, usually in late summer to make sure the weather is good, however our American friends had heard of our legendary garden parties & we just had to show them how to party UK Styleeeee...
And this is how we do it....
We contribute the garden and atmosphere and our lovely (musical) friends come with all the DJ & light stuff you could imagine & take it in turns to entertain everyone. The back part of our garden becomes a mini-field where everyone camps out, and we dance the night away to some awesome grooves.
To add to the festival feeling, we have bunting (obvs- this is England!), fairy lights and cutesy touches like a 'games' area, bubble machine & a dress ups/make up stand. (Don't worry- we also drink Prosecco Slushies , beer & wine too)
The other main event is the BBQ...
Over the years I have perfected the Veggie BBQ and have made it & all the sides into a fairly easy (all vegan!) menu. The sides tend to be a zingy coleslaw, a massive potato salad & big green salad.
Add to that a massive pot of Lentil hummus and some pastries to pop in the oven for the set up crew (they get HUNGRY!) and the final touch is some veggie burgers.
Oh yes. Those Vegan burgers, every year I use a tried and true recipe that works, but is a bit of a pest to cook on the BBQ grill. This year however, was different, this year I got all experimental with them & used some slightly different techniques. It was a spin on a few other recipes that I'd played with before, however this time I used cooked beetroot. Then added kidney beans and lentils along with the usual spices.
I thought I was SO clever.
Problem was, the mix was a bit sloppy. And it was nearly midnight. And I needed to get these patties made...So to firm up the recipe, I chucked a whole lot of things at it. Soya Mince.. which I added in dry, and not only absorbed lots of the liquid (Phew!) but created a pleasing extra bit of texture. Then to help bind, groung linseed (flax seed) mixed in a little water to form gel. And finally, when forming the burgers, I used sesame seeds to coat the burgers. These not only taste great when grilled, but they prevent the burgers from sticking. Result!
The burgers were then chilled in the fridge overnight (very important step!) which made them firm enough to handle. Once on the BBQ grill they were surprisingly easy to manipulate. The flax/linseed has a wonderful property that really binds ingredients together and to my mind, works better than eggs in this type of cooking.
(Total vegan win!)
Even better? Everyone loved them. And asked me for the recipe. And so I dedicate this post to all the party people who asked for the recipe. Let me know if you make it...and if you improve on it!
- 1 tin blackbeans drained
- 200 g lentils cooked
- 250 g beetroot cooked
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small onion chopped roughly
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chilli powder or to taste
- 2 tsp oregano dried
- 50 g soya mince dried
- 3 tsp flaked linseed/flax seed plus 3 Tbs water
- 150 g sesame seeds
- salt & pepper to taste
- Drain the blackbeans and put on a baking tray. Bake for 10-15 mins in a moderate (200C) oven until they dry out. This helps the mix not be too sloppy!
- In a food processor or blender, add everything except the soya mince, flax seed and sesame seeds. Pulse until made into a smooth paste
- Add the dried soya mince and combine with a wooden spoon. It will absorb liquid from the mix and create extra texture.
- Add the flax seed that has been mixed with a little water and combine well. If the mixture is still a little sloppy, add more soya mince.
- Refrigerate the mix for a few hours.
- Then, using around 3 TBS of mixture, form it into burger size patties, coating with the sesame seeds.
- Lay the patties on a tray covered in grease proof paper and refrigerate, preferably over night. This will help firm up the patties, ready to be grilled, shallow fried, BBQ'd or baked.
- Heat your grill or BBQ and slightly slick the burgers with a little olive oil to prevent them sticking...
- OR add the patties to a greased tray and bake
- OR shallow fry in a little oil.
- They will take around 4 mins each side to grill, BBQ or shallow fry... or around 10 mins to bake- depending on how hot your BBQ/Grill is.
- Serve on a bun with some salad and all the trimmings you love (can I suggest vegan mayo, spicy salsa, crispy lettuce, grilled peppers and a slice of vegan cheese?!)