Wednesday, 4 August 2010


I've recently developed the rather strange habit of storing up bread crusts and the stale ends of loaves, turning them into breadcrumbs and freezing them. This is not an attempt to reinvent myself as Marguerite Patten, though it's not as if I've had any specific recipe in mind.

Anyway, the other day, I thought of a use: beanburgers. This recipe makes 8 large patties. It more or less demolished the supply of breadcrumbs, which I have now set about replenishing. I'm not sure what I'll make with them next, but by the time I have an adequate stock, I will no doubt have worked it out.

1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
150g of small green lentils
1 small can of tomato puree
1 small can of sweetcorn
1 red pepper, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of cocoa
2 chillies (1 red, 1 green), finely chopped
1 teaspoon of salt
Handful of chopped fresh coriander
250-350g of white breadcrumbs

Cook the lentils in a pan with plenty of water, boiling them hard with the lid off for 10 minutes and then simmering for a further 30-40 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Mash the red kidney beans with a potato masher. Mix in the lentils, followed by the tomato puree and the spices. Then add the sweetcorn and pepper. Then beat in the eggs, followed by the coriander. Finally, add the breadcrumbs slowly, mixing constantly until the burger mix reaches a consistency where it can still be moulded easily but isn't wet and squelchy. Form the mixture into 8 balls, roll them in some more breadcrumbs, and then flatten to form patties. Shallow fry the burger buns in vegetable oil over a medium-high heat until browned and crispy on the outside.

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