A Middle-Eastern inspired riff on veggie burgers: beautiful, garlicky honey roasted chickpeas, fresh basil, chilli, cumin, and little tender orbs of lemon-spiked couscous come together to form the perfect DIY veggie burger. Tasty, quick and wholesome, it’s a great way to use up left over couscous and those cans of chickpeas sitting in the pantry.
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup honey
3 tbsp olive oil
½ cup fresh basil leaves
1 tsp cumin
½ cup pearl couscous (Israeli couscous)
½ red onion, roughly chopped
½ red chilli
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white
Zest of half a lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ cup polenta
On a baking tray mix together the chickpeas, honey, oil, half the basil leaves, cumin and salt and pepper making sure that all chickpeas are covered in the honey and oil. Pop into the preheated oven for approx. 20-25 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
In a small saucepan of boiling water cook the couscous for approx. 10 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside to cool a little.
In a food processor, pulse the onion, remaining basil leaves and garlic until roughly diced. Add the chickpeas and pulse again until the mixture is well combined but still a little chunky. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the couscous along with the lemon juice and zest. Season to taste.
Shape mixture into 6 small patties and roll in the polenta. Pop in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to firm up before cooking.
Heat a little oil in a large, heavy based frypan over medium-low heat, add the 6 patties, cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are golden. Carefully flip the patties and cook the second sides for 7 more minutes, until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
To serve, toast a nice thick slab of sourdough and spread with avocado. Top with cucumber and spinach leaves and then the patty. Dollop with some good quality store-bought babaganoush and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Makes 6 mini patties