These burgers are a variation of our falafels. They were made with chickpeas, garlic, onion, dried thyme, cayenne chili flakes, flour, oil and a tiny bit of cumin powder. Next time, I would omit the cumin powder.
Once the burger mixture has been made (using a method similar to that for making falafel dough), form the patties
Once the patties are formed, transfer them to a rack than can be placed on the barbecue. On this occasion, we put the oil into the chickpea mixture. Next time, we will omit the oil from the mixture and liberally brush the formed patties on both sides with oil before moving them onto the rack.
Preheat the barbecue to medium heat and place the burgers on the rack. Press them down gently every so often to keep them from falling apart (this probably isn't necessary but it seemed like a good idea at the time). Carefully turn the burgers when they are golden on the bottom.
Just before removing from the barbecue to serve, thinly slice cheddar cheese and place on top of the burgers that are still in the barbecue. Cut the hamburger buns in half and place them crumb side down on the grill to warm through and lightly toast. Place the burger melted cheese side down on one half of the bun. (The cheese is just peeking through on the right side of the photo. The rather strange looking indentation is from lifting the patty a little too high and almost cutting it in half on the upper grill of the barbecue. But the fact that it didn't fall apart shows that these vegetarian burgers aren't quite as delicate as we thought.)
The cheese is just peeking through on the right side of the photo. The rather strange looking indentation is from lifting the patty a little too high and almost cutting it in half on the upper grill of the barbecue. But the fact that it didn't fall apart shows that perhaps these vegetarian burgers aren't quite as delicate as we thought.
We served the vegetarian burgers on homemade hamburger buns and garnished them with cheese, bacon (ha! why not?), red leaf lettuce, tomato, pickle, mayonnaise, mustard and eggplant relish. And that red stuff? It's beet salad. And that golden crispy stuff? Onion rings! (Please see more photos of onion rings and hamburger buns.)
We made these burgers again, leaving out the oil from the chickpea mixture. Instead we brushed the outside of each patty with oil. And to make things a lot simpler, we put the patties into a basket contraption specifically designed for barbecuing burgers. It might not have been necessary but it sure made it easier to turn them!
Other beans work well too. Here is the vegetarian burger mixture made with black, kidney and garbanzo beans.
These are the three-bean patties with melted cheddar. See how much they look like meat!! They taste fabulous too. Even though we're dedicated meat eaters, we'll never go back to making burgers with meat. (Make extra patties so you can have shepherd's pie!)
The buns for these burgers were baked in the barbecue as well. The beautiful red pepper is from our garden. (See more photos of vegetarian burgers and hamburger buns.)
My brother-in-law gave us a "Hot Portugal" pepper plant this spring. Even though we have a very limited amount of sun, it produced this lovely red pepper. I wouldn't say that it's all that hot but it does have a wonderfully sweet flavour with a tiny hint of heat just at the edge. There are two more peppers ripening on the plant now.
Because of so much rain this summer, it took ages for good corn to appear. But finally, our favourite outdoor stall in Chinatown is selling it. It's not cheap though: 5 ears for $2.00. Here it is just before being shucked and put on the barbecue.