This is a slightly experimental mezze platter I’ve just made (baba ghanoush, quinoa tabbouleh, hummus). Hope you like it!
I discovered a variation of this recipe whilst volunteering in the Topaz Cafe in Ashton-under-Lyne recently – I love making Tabbouleh anyway, but never thought of turning it into burgers. My children were in equal parts bemused and amused by the ‘two meals for the price of one’ aspect, but they managed to eat everything anyway!
Serves 4 to 6
To make the tabbouleh;
150ml bulgur wheat
100ml fresh parsley, roughly chopped
100ml olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 cucumber, finely diced
2 tbs dried mint
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tbs lemon juice
Salt and pepper
To turn it into burgers;
100g whole wheat flour
To make the wedges;
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled then cut lengthways into 8 wedges
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs sweet smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. To make the burgers, initially make the tabbouleh. In a large saucepan bring the water to the boil and add the bulgur wheat. Return to the boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl mix together the herbs, olive oil, tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Add to the cooled bulgur wheat and combine thoroughly.
4. To form the burgers, simply add the flour and cornflour to the mix and knead well. Form into eight equal burgers, then place on a lined baking tray and bake for 40 minutes until lightly brown.
5. For the wedges, mix together the sweet potato with the olive oil, paprika and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. These also need to be placed in the oven for approximately 35 – 40 minutes, so should go in at the same time as the burgers.
6. To serve, place two burgers in rolls or in a ciabatta, together with four wedges. Garnish with relishes and a green salad.
Making good falafels is something that I have had trouble with for a while – either I couldn’t get the right texture or they would fall apart in the fryer! These are based on a tip I got recently at the Topaz Cafe in Ashton-under-Lyne, which also means that egg doesn’t have to be added to bind them together, so these are Vegan too. (Clue: don’t cook the chickpeas!)
100g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
Large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Sunflower or vegetable oil for deep fat frying
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbs plain flour
1 tbs baking powder
200g bulgur wheat, soaked and cooked as per guidelines
Juice of one lemon
Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 red pepper, grilled, skinned and sliced
1. Add the chickpeas, onion, garlic, fresh herbs and 2 tbs water to a food processor and chop until very finely ground.
2. Add the mix to a large bowl and add the ground spices, baking powder and flour and mix thoroughly. Form into tightly pressed balls with your hands.
3. Add the balls to a pre-heated deep fat fryer set at 170°C and fry for 5 to 8 minutes, depending upon size.
4. Rest cooked falafel on kitchen paper, and continue to fry in batches until complete.
5. To make the tabbouleh, simply add the cooked bulgur wheat to all the other ingredients and mix well. Allow to rest for 10 minutes to let the flavours develop. Serve with pitta bread and tomatoes, or with a dressing/dip of your choice.