Monday, 20 May 2013

Moroccan Veggie Burger

My first attempt with spinach and fresh tomato. Not bad, but
I much preferred the toppings included in the recipe.
While this recipe was delicious, I just keep imagining how amazing it would be to have some slices of juicy, tender lamb in addition to the veggie burger... Oh my goodness, that would be amazing. If you have lamb, add that. Luckily, it's still great without the lamb. I mean, there are roasted vegetables, dried apricots, peanut butter, spices, and caramelized onions. Come on. If there are caramelized onions, you know it has to be good.

The head chef at the cafe where I volunteer (and have lots of fun experimenting with whacky brownie flavours, including almond apricot with a tahini-lemon-honey swirl) would say that this burger has too much going on. Maybe she's right. But I don't really care. I just know that it tastes good, and that's all that really matters. On second thought, maybe the lamb would be a bit over the top. Maybe just stick with this.

One last note: these are huge, as in piled-high huge. You may need to use a fork and knife to fit it into your mouth. You could also leave the bun off, since you're probably not going to need it to pick up the burger anyway, and I don't think it really added much. I actually preferred mine without it.

Moroccan Veggie Burger

A complicated but delicious recipe


1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed (about 2 cups)
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups cooked black eyed peas
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup raw cauliflower rice (cauliflower pulsed in a food processor until it's the texture of rice)
1/4 dock flour (or other flour of choice, it can be any kind)
2 Tbsp ras el hanout (or more, if you like things with really bold flavours, I usually end up adding more)
salt, to taste


1 cup canned tomatoes
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ras el hanout
chicken stock, to thin (although, if you happen to have any lamb stock lying around, that would be amazing)


1 eggplant, sliced into rounds
3 bell peppers, thickly sliced (or just quartered)
olive oil
salt and pepper

3 onions, sliced (you can use less, I just like to smother everything I eat with caramelized onions, so I like having leftovers. Just decrease the amount of apricots accordingly)
3/4 cup dried turkish apricots, chopped
oil or fat, to fry the onions
salt, to taste

optional: sprouts, cooked kale (kale would be amazing)


cauliflower bun (optional)

I suggest having the buns made in advance if you're using them. In fact, it would be much easier if you made most of the components in advance, since there are a lot of them. The burgers, caramelized onions and sauce can all be made in advance.


1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
2. Coat the eggplant and peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Put the eggplant in the oven. It will take about 1-1 1/2 hours to roast. Flip somewhere around halfway.
4. Meanwhile, make the burger, just mash everything up and combine. If you want it really smooth, put everything in a food processor, but I think it's better left a bit chunky. Taste a bit, and add more salt or spices if necessary. If it's not thick enough, add more flour.
5. You can either fry the burgers or bake them, which I find is both easier and they stay together better. Just put them on a baking sheet in circular burger shapes and pop them in the oven on a different oven rack from the eggplant. Bake until they start to brown, for me that's about an hour, but my oven takes long, so just check on them. Add the peppers to the eggplant now.
6. Heat the oil over medium-low heat.
7. Add the onions (for the topping) and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1/2 hour or until caramelized.
8. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Saute the onions and garlic in a bit of oil in a pot until browned.
9. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer while everything else is cooking.
10. When the onions are almost done, sprinkle with just a little salt and add the apricots. Stir together and add water or stock if it gets dry (and it probably will). Cook for another 5 minutes or so.
11. If you're using the buns and made them in advance, pop them in the toaster or a toaster oven to heat them up.
12. Assemble the burger. Put down a layer of sprouts on the bun, if using (if you're not using the bun, just put them on top of the burger), add the caramelized onions, place a burger on top, drizzle with sauce, add the roasted eggplant and peppers, and finally top with another bun (if using).
13. Attempt to eat with hands, then give up and just enjoy with a fork and knife. 
14. Take a nap, that was very filling and took a lot of work!
If this looks like too much for you, just make the burger and
bun a smaller size.

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