A burger’s a burger, or is it?

broad bean

I associate burgers with quick food.  They are, if one gets them “done”.  They’re not if they’re home made from scratch.  I make both meat and plant-based burgers.  One has to go a long way to find a good vegan or vegetarian patty.  Especially at a restaurant:  I’ve had some really memorable (for all the wrong reasons) ones.  The first vegetarian was – going on 34 years ago – in a burger joint in Johannesburg.  Instead of a slab of rubber, it was a huge, juicy black mushroom.  That joint went on to become one of the biggest local burger franchises in the country, and which last time I had one of their burgers, still set the bar for me.

But, I digress, as usual.

Garden Loot

We do eat meat, and as I keep on saying, The Husband is an avowed carnivore.  That said, he does enjoy his greens vegetables and, over the last nearly twenty years that we’ve shared a life, he’s had to endure many a meat-free meal.  Initially, it was with great reluctance and surprised relish.  Now, he’s less reluctant, but I do get very skew looks when I introduce something new to the repertoire.

So it was with these burgers.

This year, thanks to good rain and regularly watering the garden, we’ve had a surfeit of garden loot.

One spring afternoon’s harvest

The first pickings are young, tender and sweet.  As the season progresses, and the crops mature, they’re less so.  Also, as one picks, it’s easy to miss pods so some do get a trifle long in the tooth.  Not one to let much go to waste, I always look for ways of better dealing with “tougher” beans and peas. Let’s also be honest, one does need some variety when there are just the two of you and what feels like a year’s supply of, well, whatever.

That’s not always the case with broad (fava) beans – the season is short – and besides enjoying them as they are, they’re really versatile.  Anyhow, since I wrote that, some six years ago, we’ve moved to eating more meatfree meals.  On a Monday, at least, we’ve joined the  Meat Free Monday movement and often the meal is entirely plant-based.

I really do enjoy searching out new recipes and ways of doing things.  So it was with these burgers. If not the accompaniments.

The broad bean crop was coming to an end and beans were coming in thick and fast.

Five litres of broad beans

A while before, I’d been looking for not just things to do with beans and came across this burger recipe.  At the time, what a waste of broad beans, I thought.  Not so, when the beans got somewhat bigger and more chalky.  I admit, too, that there’s something about getting your mouth around a burger and messing all over one’s hands, face and just generally, that’s rather satisfying!

So, I gave them a go:

Broad bean burgers

These burger patties have a chickpea base with the broad beans added in towards the end of the process.  The flavours – mint, coriander, cumin and harissa – are southern Mediterranean and middle eastern – and delicious.  So much so that when I made these the first time, The Husband had a second helping and declared that they could become a regular part of the repertoire, expressing regret (again) that the season for broad beans is so shortlived!

The first time we ate them was on flatbreads which we folded over the patty.

We agreed that the simple leaf dressing of olive oil and lemon juice and the yoghurt dressing was nothing short of heavenly.  His –

You can do these again!

Is all the confirmation I needed.  So I have, and the next time – with equal enjoyment, I served them with my home made, brown sourdough rolls.

If you’d also like to make these, download the recipe here.

Before I go

I have blogpals in different parts of South Africa and the world.  Three, in particular, encourage and inspire me as I continue to experiment in my kitchen – and especially with plant-based food.  Katie (@plantstoplanks) in Atlanta, a personal trainer and nutrition coach, whose WordPress site is full useful information, and The Kitchen Fairy (@thekitchenfairy) in Canada, who shares cooking videos via YouTube and Instagram. Much closer to home, is Lizelle (@lizelle) in Durban.  Thank you all for your encouragement and inspiration to grow my repertoir and confound The Husband’s taste buds!

Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma

Post Script

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And then there’s more:

  • If this post might seem familiar, it’s because I’m doing two things:
    • re-vamping old recipes. As I do this, I plan to add them in a file format that you can download and print. If you download recipes, buy me a coffee. Or better yet, a glass of wine….?
    • and “re-capturing” nearly two years’ worth of posts because of this.
  • If you’re interested in a soft entry into the world of crypto currency and monetising WordPress blog, use the fantastic plugin to post directly to the Hive blockchain. Click on the image below to sign up –
Image: @traciyork
  • I also share my occasional instagram posts to the crypto blockchain using the new, and really nifty phone app, Dapplr. On your phone, click the icon below, and give it a go.

In yet another aspect of my life –

English writing, research and online tutoring services

writing – emails and reports, academic and white papers
formal grammar, spelling and punctuation
more information here

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