Last week I started making dinner without knowing what it was going to be, I do this quite often, it’s like any creative process, sometimes you set out with a very clear vision and others the ingredients and cooking processes just gently guide you to the finished dish.
Go back 12 years ago to my first chefs job back at the Royal Mail sorting offices in Bath and my veggie burgers were a surefire hit with the morning crew. I would have been up all night ,alone in the huge kitchens feeding the nightshift, and around 4am would start creating veggie burgers for the roll selection. I always liked to use up any leftover ingredients from the nightshift and the veggie burgers were a great way of doing this, they quickly became known as Hazel’s Erotic Rolls (I also introduced the posties to Banana and Marmite rolls, total winner!).
I’ve been a big fan of Spiceway products ever since I stumbled across them in a farm shop just outside Bath, I ended up using 3 of their blends to make this dish, they’re ace, I reviewed them for Great Food Magazine about a year ago and now my cupboard feels pretty bare without them.
For the squash:
- Butternut squash, peeled & diced
- 1 tblsp rapeseed oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 tblsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp Spiceway Heavenly Herbs
- 1 tsp dried lovage seeds
For the burgers:
- 1 mug part cooked buckwheat groats (only boiled for about 4 minutes so it still has a nice bite and is very nutty)
- The roasted butternut squash mix
- 3 heaped tblsp ground almonds
- 1 tsp veg stock powder
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 3 tsp porcini powder (blits dried porcini in a coffee grinder)
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 handful chopped pistachios
- 2 handfuls Spiceway Salad Sprinkles
- 2 handfuls baby broad beans (use the frozen ones and blanch in boiling water for just 1 minute)
- 1 handful chopped carrot leaves
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
For the dip:
- 200ml natural yoghurt
- 2 heaped tblsp Spiceway Zippy Zataar
- 1 tblsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbslp agave syrup
- Combine all the roast butternut squash ingredients and roast in an oven heated to 200C until the squash has softened and starting to caramelise.
- Blitz half of the squash in a food processor (or just mash) then combine the rest with the remaining squash and all the other burger ingredients, if the mixture is too wet add more ground almonds, taste and season then form into burger shapes and chill for 30minutes to help them keep their shape.
- Pop the burgers on some greased baking parchment and roast in an oven preheated to about 200C for about 15 mins or until done.
- Mix the sauce ingredients together, leave for about 15 minutes for the flavours to develop. Serve the burgers stuffed into pittas with some watercress/salad leaves and drizzled with the sauce.