When I first mentioned my plan of making Vegetarian Carrot Burgers to my other half he looked both dubious and completely unexcited in equal amounts. However, this was all gone in seconds as soon as he started eating them!
I always find veggie burgers hard to make for a number of reasons. First of all, getting the texture right is really difficult. Patties have fallen apart while cooking them at least half the time I’ve tried to make a veggie burger. The other thing is the flavour. Especially, if I’m making them for meat eaters… Of course, it is difficult to beat a decent beef burger, but the key is to make sure you aren’t trying to recreate these flavours but go for something different.
In this case, the burgers are made out of roasted carrots mixed with cumin, ground coriander, paprika and Cayenne paper, giving it a bit of a middle eastern flavour. Served topped with fresh tzatziki, vegetables and a bit of hot sauce (always on my table) – and voila – you have a Middle Eastern Inspired Vegetarian burger.
While to cooking time might put you off, it’s really to allow you to roast the carrots. You can do that in advance and prepare the patties earlier in the day or evening before. When prepped, they need less than 30 minutes in the oven to cook.
If you have any leftovers, they are also perfect for lunch, stuffed in a pitta with some fresh salad and tzatziki.
More with carrots: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Hawaij root vegetable stew with whipped fenugreek | Carrot & Ginger Bhajis and Spiced Paneer with Dhal |Honey-roast parsnips and carrots
This is a recipe from Waitrose magazine which I have adapted slightly.
Roasted Carrot Veggie Burgers
Serves 4 | Cook 30 mins + chilling | Prep 1 hr 20 mins
Easy | Vegetarian
- 600g large carrots, halved lengthways;
- 2½ tbsp olive oil;
- 50g dried breadcrumbs;
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed;
- 25g parsley leaves, chopped;
- 1 tsp ground coriander;
- 2 tsp ground cumin;
- 1 tsp paprika;
- 1/2 tsp Cayanne pepper (optional);
- 1 egg;
- To serve:
- 4 brioche buns, halved;
- 4 tbsp tzatziki;
- 4 slices smoked/spicy cheese;
- fresh veggies as you like them. I had: lettuce, thinly sliced tomato and red onion.
Preheat the oven to 190˚C/170C fan/ gas mark 5. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Toss the carrots with 1 tbsp oil, season and space out well on the lined tray. Roast for 55 minutes, until browned and just tender.
When slightly cooled, roughly chop the carrots and add to the bowl of a food processor (set aside the lined baking tray for later). Pulse until it becomes a finely chopped, but not quite smooth, purée. Tip into a mixing bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley and ground spices; season. Mix in the egg then, with clean hands, shape into 4 firm burger-shaped patties. You can make this in advance and leave to chill up to a day before cooking. Regardless, try to leave the patties to chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to firm up a little.
When ready to cook, space the patties out on the lined tray. Brush with the remaining 1½ tbsp oil and bake for 25 minutes, until turning golden. Warm the halved brioche buns in the oven for the last 3 minutes of cooking time. Spread the base of each bun with tzatziki and arrange some torn lettuce, tomatoes, onions and whatever else you are using on top, then add the burger and finish with a slice of cheese and the bun tops.