Rac­ing pulse

Anna Jones re­turns for a meat-free bar­be­cue

The Guardian - Cook - - Front Page - Anna Jones Anna Jones is a chef, writer and au­thor of A Mod­ern Way to Eat and A Mod­ern Way to Cook (Fourth Es­tate); an­na­jones.co.uk; @we_are_­food

Cook­ing over coals is so suited to veg­eta­bles, and al­most any can be used. Undis­tracted by meat fat, I find the sub­tlety of veg al­lows the smoky hum of the coals to come even more alive. Favourites this year have been wedges of sum­mer cab­bage, thin slices of skin-on sweet potato, thick steaks of cele­riac (quickly pre­boiled in salted wa­ter un­til ten­der), chicories halved then dressed in a sweet vinai­grette ... all grilled so that char marks tat­too them­selves on to their ex­te­ri­ors, while their in­sides are soft and yield­ing.

My of­fer­ings today, though, make more of a meal of veg­eta­bles on the bar­be­cue. I’ve made a veg­gie burger (that doesn’t fall apart!) from plump white beans, wal­nuts, sun­dried to­ma­toes and a proud hit of smoked pa­prika. And se­condly, some easy, fluffy flat­breads filled with hal­loumi – al­though feta, pa­neer or even tofu would stand in hap­pily – along­side a quick lime pickle.

You might still be up for brav­ing the bar­be­cue (in a jumper) but oth­er­wise both of these can, of course, be cooked in­doors on a grid­dle or in a fry­ing pan.

Bar­be­cue pi­men­tón burg­ers Makes 8

75g brown rice (or 150g cooked) 120g wal­nuts

Olive oil

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp sweet smoked pa­prika (pi­men­tón)

½ tsp each of salt and black pep­per 400g tin cooked white beans, rinsed, drained and pat­ted dry

75g sun­dried to­ma­toes, drained and roughly chopped

4 dried apri­cots, roughly chopped 30g fresh bread­crumbs, or oats

To serve

8 burger buns May­on­naise A lit­tle more smoked pa­prika 1 av­o­cado, peeled and sliced Manchego cheese, thinly sliced A hand­ful of cress

1 To cook the rice, put it in a saucepan with twice the amount of cold wa­ter, bring to the boil, re­duce to a sim­mer and put a lid on. Cook for 20 min­utes, or un­til the rice is ten­der. Turn the heat off, re­move the lid and let it steam dry.

2 Add the wal­nuts to a hot fry­ing pan and toast over a medium heat for 5-7 min­utes, stir­ring of­ten, un­til fra­grant and golden. Tip into a bowl to cool.

3 Re­turn the pan to the heat. Add a lit­tle oil, the onion and chilli. Cook for 10 min­utes, or un­til soft and sweet. Re­move from the heat and set aside.

4 Blitz the cooled wal­nuts with the cumin, pa­prika, salt and pep­per un­til the mix re­sem­bles fine bread­crumbs.

5 Mash the beans with a fork. Add the to­ma­toes, apri­cots, onion and chilli mix, rice, wal­nut mix and bread­crumbs and mix well to an mould­able dough. The mix will still be quite crumbly, so scoop out half the dough and blitz it, then stir it back into the re­main­ing

dough to bind it all to­gether. If it seems dry, add a lit­tle oil from the to­ma­toes.

6 Line a tray with bak­ing pa­per. Squeeze to­gether a small hand­ful of the mix­ture, put it on the tray and flat­ten slightly into a burger shape. Re­peat un­til you have eight burg­ers. Brush each burger with a lit­tle oil.

7 Heat the bar­be­cue un­til the flames have died down. Grill the burg­ers for about 3-4 min­utes on each side, not mov­ing un­til a crust has formed and they come away from the bars quite eas­ily. Be gen­tle with them. Al­ter­na­tively you could fry the burg­ers in a pan for the same amount of time, or bake them in the oven at 220C/425F/ gas 7 for 10 min­utes.

8 To as­sem­ble the burg­ers, slice each bun in half and spread both sides with a lit­tle may­on­naise. Sprin­kle with smoked pa­prika and put a cou­ple of slices of av­o­cado on the bot­tom half of the bun. Put the burger on top of the av­o­cado, then a cou­ple of slices of manchego, a big pinch of cress and the sec­ond half of the bun.

Hal­loumi, lime and scotch bon­net flat­breads Serves 4

400g to­ma­toes A small bunch of mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped

Ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 250g block of hal­loumi 4 flat­breads Pep­pery sum­mer leaves, such as rocket 2 tbsp tahini Greek yo­ghurt to serve

For the pickle

2 limes 1 tbsp cumin seeds 1 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar 2 scotch bon­net or other red chill­ies 1 tsp honey

1 To make the pickle, peel the zest from the limes in long strips. Add to a small saucepan. Squeeze in the juice. Add the cumin, salt and sugar.

2 Bring to the boil, then re­duce to a sim­mer for 10 min­utes, un­til the zest

Undis­tracted by meat fat, I find the sub­tlety of veg al­lows the smoky hum of the coals to come even more alive

strips have shrunk and are curl­ing at the edges. Set aside to cool.

3 Once cool, re­move the pickle from the pan. Re­serve the liq­uid. Chop the pickle and add it to a bowl with the chilli and honey and mix well.

4 Chop the to­ma­toes: I like to cut mine into dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes, mak­ing sure no two are the same. Add them to a bowl with the mint, 1 tbsp lime pickle juice and a good driz­zle of olive oil.

5 Heat your bar­be­cue un­til the flames have died down and you have a hot but even heat, or heat a grid­dle un­til it is re­ally hot. Grill the hal­loumi on both sides un­til soft­ened, with charred lines, but not burnt.

6 Mean­while, warm the flat­breads: I do this on the cooler edge of the bar­be­cue or over an open flame, turn­ing with tongs af­ter 30 sec­onds or so.

7 Once the hal­loumi is per­fectly cooked and the flat­breads are warm, pile the to­ma­toes on top, add a pile of the hal­loumi and the leaves, then driz­zle of tahini and yo­ghurt, and a sprin­kle of the lime pickle.

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