This is one of those creations that had me bouncing off the kitchen walls, thrilled that the combination of flavors really work and relieved that the damn things did not crumble during cooking. Buckwheat, I salute you!
The savory flavor from the mushrooms is intensified by the hazelnut butter – definitely one to try out on sceptical meat eaters. The texture is not too bad either – delicately crispy on the outside (thank you hazelnut oil) and moist on the inside. They are quite delicate though, given the lack of eggs or gluten that help stick everything together, so handle with care. Being careful not to over-process the mixture and chilling it right down before attempting to shape into patties is essential. If you are struggling with an overly wet mixture, try another couple of tablespoons of buckwheat flour.
The hazelnuts give a brilliant depth of flavor here, especially when you roast them first. Let them cool as much as possible before pounding them into butter. The amounts given below make much more hazelnut dressing than you need for this recipe but I’ve found that my standard size food processor struggles with quantities of nuts less than 100g. The dressing is amazing on salads and roasted vegetables,so is easy to use up. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use hazelnut butter such as this one from Meridian. To make it more pliable, mix it up with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil and a dash of apple cider vinegar/orange juice, before tipping into the burger mix.
Ingredients (makes 6-8 burgers)
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
75g buckwheat groats
4 large mushrooms (I use portabella)
Fresh thyme – a few sprigs (optional)
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons buckwheat flour and extra for shaping the burgers.
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of an orange
Squeeze of lemon (optional)
80 ml good quality olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200 (fan)/220 (conventional)
- Pop the mushrooms into a baking dish – stalks pointing upwards – with a little smear of oil, a sprig or two of thyme and a pinch of salt and black pepper. If making the hazelnut butter, put the hazelnuts into a separate baking dish and roast alongside the mushrooms for 20-25 minutes.
- Cook the buckwheat according to the packet instructions: simmer for around 10 minutes until just soft, not soggy! Drain off any excess water promptly.
- Dice the onion and fry over a medium heat, adding the garlic after a couple of minutes. Chop the roasted mushrooms up into smaller pieces and throw them in too, with the remainder of the thyme. Stir in the buckwheat and lemon juice and cook for a few more minutes. Season and taste before setting aside to cool. Stir in the hazelnut butter/dressing mix – as described in the preamble – if you are not making your own.
- Now for the hazelnut butter. Grind up the nuts in the food processor for a good few minutes; they will first turn powdery – keep going! – and then start to release their oils. As they turn into a paste you’ll find yourself having to stop the food processor maybe a couple of times, removing the lid and pushing down the contents from the sides and back towards the blade.
- Once you have a paste, throw in the peeled cloves of garlic and a third to half a teaspoon of sea salt and blend again for a few minutes. With the blade still running, add the apple cider vinegar next and then the orange juice. Lastly, slowly pour in the olive oil as your food processor continues to mix.
- Transfer the hazelnut dressing into a small vessel, reserving a tablespoon or so for the burgers. Dump the buckwheat mix into the food processor and use the ‘Pulse’ button just a few times to loosely break up and bring everything together. Making sure you don’t overblend the mixture is easier with the handheld blender!
- Stir in the buckwheat flour and pop the mixture into the fridge to firm up – say for 20 minutes – until you can form it into patties. Make sure you have plenty of flour on hand (and on your hands).
- Chill the burgers until required. Cook in the oven on 200 (fan)/220 (conventional) for 30-40 minutes, turning half way through. If barbequing, use a teflon mat to facilitate turning and removing and cook for around 10 minutes on each side.
I am sharing this recipe with Tea Time Treats, a monthly blog challenge created by Lavender & Lovage and The Hedgecombers (host for this month).
I am also sharing it with Healthy Vegan Fridays.