This recipe came about because of my love for the flavour combination of broad beans and pecorino which derives from Rome. Every spring I devise new ways of eating the delightful pairing. Originally, this burger was meant to be croquettes but as they are more time consuming (and my hunger was developing) a burger seemed like the better option. Shelling and skinning broad beans can be a tedious task but I always think the result is worth it. To save time though - you could substitute broad beans with frozen peas, the flavour combination still works well. You could also forgo the cashew sauce and just dress with a mix of yoghurt and lemon juice.
This mixture is not an exact science and it won't matter too much if you play around with amounts or ingredients. It is definitely a veggie burger that will not disappoint - unlike so many I've eaten in my time.
Makes 5-6 burger patties
For the cashew sauce
1 cup cashews
plain greek yoghurt
For the burgers
pinch of cumin and coriander seeds
1 cup of broad beans
3 large potatoes
generous handful of rocket
1/4 cup grated pecorino
1/2 cup breadcrumbs or flour
pinch of chilli flakes
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 egg, beaten
For the cashew sauce, soak the cashews in water.
For the patties, blanch the broad beans in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain and then run under cold water. Peel and roughly dice the potatoes. Cook in boiling water until soft. In the mean time remove skins from broad beans. Drain potatoes and use a potato masher to mash with broad beans in a bowl.
Dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a hot pan, until you can smell the flavours releasing. Crush with a mortar and pestle and add to the mixture, with pecorino, garlic, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Stir and taste for balance. In a pan with little oil, wilt the rocket on a low flame. Chop it finely and stir it into the mixture with the egg and breadcrumbs. If your mixture feels too wet, add more breadcrumbs or flour.
Rub some olive oil in your hands and form round patties that are a touch smaller than the size of your burger buns (not too wide though or they will fall apart) and 1 1/2 cm thick. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (you could also prep these the night before).
In a food processor, blend the cashews, yoghurt and lemon juice until you reach a consistency and flavour you like. Set aside.
Fry the patties in hot olive oil (or even better, an oil with high smoke point like sunflower) on a medium flame, until golden brown (at least a few minutes) on either side.
I spread the base of the bun with Kasundi (tomato relish), place the patty on top, spread a generous helping of the cashew sauce and then top with rocket. Voila. A word of warning, these patties are delightfully soft so avoid giving your burger a mighty squeeze.
1. For a very smooth cashew sauce, soaking the cashews for 4 hours is required, I was a little too impatient for this. I also had some fennel fronds that I stirred through the sauce, any herb you like would lift it nicely.
2. After resting the patties in the fridge, you could dredge in egg and coat in breadcrumbs for a crispier texture.