Tag Archives: Burgers

Holy Grail Mushroom Burgers

Holy Grail Charred Mushroom Burgers


Holy Grail Mushroom Burgers-2

Makes around 10 burgers, depending on size

Special equipment: food processor and cast iron pan/grill plate

I know this is my second mushroom and walnut recipe in a row, but I couldn’t hold off posting these. These are the tits.

I originally made these for our New Years Day BBQ lunch. Unfortunately the BBQ itself was a spectacular failure, much to my disappointment. I got myself a shiny new coal Weber for Christmas, and I was so excited to use it having not had a BBQ for five years. But then the coal wouldn’t light, and when we finally did get it going the heat was gone in five minutes. So much for that. Luckily these burgers, which I cooked on the stove instead, more than made up for all of it. My house mate said these are better than any mock-beef patty he has ever tried, and that these while not trying to be a meat replica fill that role perfectly. Maybe even better than my beetroot burgers.

And so, I made them again today, some kind of record for me as I usually don’t like to eat the same thing more than once in a month. I just couldn’t stop thinking about them, and how good they would be with tomato relish and my Swiss melt. Sorry, that recipe isn’t ready to share yet, but the combination was perfect. Seriously, these are freakin’ delicious.

Oh, and did I mention they’re gluten free? You heard me.


Approx 500g Swiss Brown mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 heaped cup walnuts

1 1/2 cups packed cooked short grain brown rice

1 large brown onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp porcini powder (or you can use dried porcini mushrooms soaked, drained, squeezed, chopped, a small handful)

2-3tbsp tamari,  or to taste

1 really heaped tbsp shiro miso

A couple pinches dried rosemary

1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup chickpea flour

Salt and olive oil as needed


1. Place the walnuts on a tray and roast at 200C for 5 minutes or until just golden and toasted. Set aside.

2. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a pan over low heat (cast iron is best, as always). Add the onion and stir well. Cook slowly until sticky, soft and mostly brown. Add the garlic and a splash more oil and cook another minute or so. Crank the heat up high and add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt and the porcini. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and delicious smelling but still fairly firm, around 5 minutes. You don’t want them to release their liquid.

3. Place half the walnuts into the bowl of your food processor. Process until you have a rough nut butter. This takes just over a minute in mine. Add the rest of the nuts and pulse until fine. Add the mushrooms and rice and pulse until chopped small. Do not puree.

4. Place the mix into a large bowl. Add the paprika, miso, tamari, rosemary and pepper and adjust to taste. Make it stronger than you think is perfect, because the flavour will be ‘watered down’ when you add the chickpea flour. Add salt if necessary and mix in the chickpea flour. Leave to stand 10 minutes (or longer). You are going to have a sticky mess, but don’t worry, they firm up A LOT as they cook.

5. Heat a little oil in a cast iron pan over med-low heat. It really needs to be cast iron because the char on these is half the flavour. Seriously do not skip  this. Scoop 1/3 cups mixture into your hands and form into patties. It’s worth doing them all at once and putting them on a baking paper lined tray, because your hands are going to be messy. Fry a few at a time on a fairly low flame, not turning until the underside is a nice dark, golden brown with a bit of char in it, as shown in the photos. You’ll need at least 5 minutes on each side. Don’t be tempted to turn the flame up, you need to cook them slowly or they’ll taste like raw chickpea flour (yuk!) and be all sloppy. Nobody wants that.

6. Stick them in a toasted bun with your favourite condiments. I used tomato relish, vegan Swiss melt made from cashews and secrets, lettuce and tomato. They’re bangin’ with mayo and mustard too. Or ketchup. Whatever floats your boat.

Jessica Blog-3

Awesome Beetroot Burgers

Special equipment: Food processor

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Makes 12 burger patties

A few years ago, I made up a batch of beetroot burger patties with leftover ingredients at the end of the week. In truth, I don’t have any recollection of them beyond making them, but Fabio surprised me by requesting them a few months down the track. Of course, I couldn’t remember what I had put in them, so reproducing them proved a little tricky. I did however set about trying to perfect a new beetroot burger, and have made countless versions over the last year. Unfortunately, none of them were what I wanted. They were ok, but they didn’t make me say ‘wow!’. I tried many recipes from other cooks too, some even claiming to be the ‘best beetroot burger ever’, but I was not impressed. They were either too dry, too crumbly, too mushy or too bland.

I was pretty much ready to give up on a juicy, chewy, grill-able, flip-able great tasting beetroot burger. That is, until last week. Once again I found myself with a bunch of beetroot on clean-out-the-fridge-day. Could it have been fate? Not expecting anything fantastic, I threw a few things together. For some reason, I decided  to finely chop the beetroot and puree the chickpeas with some tahini. Instead of rice, I used freekeh, as I had a box in the cupboard I was determined to use in some creative way. I don’t know how, but somehow this accident created the best beetroot burgers I have ever eaten. It was love at first bite, and this time, I had been clever and measured everything. Most pleased with myself.

The first couple of patties I fried tasted incredible, were juicy and moist and held together enough to be flipped and be handled, but would break in half if picked up on one side. That just wasn’t good enough, so I added some flax eggs. Perfect texture, but some of the flavour disappeared. Last night I made them again, this time adjusting a couple of quantities, and have to say that they taste just as good as the no-flax version, but hold together better than any firm, no-potato patty I’ve ever made.

These burgers don’t need to be baked, you can throw them straight into the frying pan. The spices are subtle so that the burger can go with a number of toppings. This would work with aioli, mustard, vegan cheese, ketchup, relish or mayo. Serve with rocket, lettuce or coleslaw. Because they aren’t dry, they are good enough to serve on their own with a salad. I LOVE the versatility of these burgers. They reheat very well in the microwave, as I discovered when I packed some for lunch at work today. In fact they might have even tasted better today than they did last night.



5 smallish – medium beetroots, peeled and ends trimmed

1 cup cracked freekeh

1 medium brown onion, very finely chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (reserve the liquid from the can)

3 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp liquid from the can of chickpeas

1.5 tsp salt (or to taste)

1.5 tsp cumin (or to taste)

2 tsp smoked paprika (or to taste)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 tbsp ground golden flax seeds mixed with 2 tbsp chickpea liquid (from the can) to form a thick goo

sunflower or canola oil, for frying


1. Rinse the Freekeh and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring often, until all the water has absorbed and the freekeh is soft and chewy, approx 15-20 minutes. Place into a large bowl and set aside.

2. Meanwhile,  heat some oil in a frying pan over low heat and add the onions. Cook gently until brown and sticky, approx 10 minutes. Add to the bowl.

3. Grate the beetroot and place into your food processor. Pulse until you end up with tiny pieces, but do not blend it into a paste.

Jessica Blog-2

Add the beetroot to the bowl with the freekeh and onions.

3. Place the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, spices, salt, olive oil 1 tbsp chickpea liquid in the food processor. Process until you have a thick, sticky paste that is as smooth as possible. You will need to scrape the sides down a few times to do this. Add the chickpea paste to the bowl and mix well

4. Add the breadcrumbs and flax goo and mix very well until fully combined. I find my cake spatula or hands (with gloves on) are the best ways to do this.

 5. Line a couple of trays (or your bench) with non-stick baking paper. Take handfuls of mixture and form into patties. Place on the baking paper until ready to use. This mixture is very sticky, so I really recommend you form all the mixture into patties before you start cooking them or you are going to have burger mixture on everything you touch. If you like you can sprinkle the baking paper with some breadcrumbs to make them easier to move around

6. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the burgers and cook a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Be careful not to flip the burgers before the first side is fully cooked, as they will lose their charred, crunchy surface, approx 4 minutes each side.

7. Eat all the burgers!