The Chronicle Herald (Metro)

A veggie burger that doesn’t look or taste like meat


Anna Jones isn’t one to make things what they’re not. Case in point: her approach to veggie burgers.

“I don’t want a veggie burger that tastes and looks like meat,” she writes in her cookbook, One: Pot, Pan, Planet. “I want food to taste of what’s in it.”

This burger’s namesake, pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika), brings “that very, very delicious, smoky, sweet hum.” Jones doubles up on the smoky sweetness with a roasted red pepper salsa, which she spreads on the bottom half of the bun along with mayonnaise and an extra sprinkle of pimentón.

Far from uniform in taste and texture, the character of the primary ingredient­s — white beans, walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes and dried apricots — shines through. Jones has a burger night every couple of weeks with her family; she likes to double the batch and freeze half so she always has some ready to go (they keep in the freezer for up to three months).

“I love a veggie burger. And I always find it quite disappoint­ing when things feel really beany or quite worthy, or they’re trying to taste like meat,” says Jones. “I want something that feels exciting. That every bite of the burger feels as exciting as every other element of a dish. And these ones are great.


120 g walnuts

Olive oil

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 red chili, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika (pimentón)

1 x 400g tin white beans, rinsed, drained and patted dry

75 g sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped (keep the oil)

4 dried apricots, roughly chopped

75 g cooked rice (or another cooked grain)

30 g fresh breadcrumb­s (or you could use fine porridge oats)


2 roasted red peppers

200 g datterini or cherry tomatoes

50 g green olives, pitted

A splash of sherry vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

To serve:

4 burger buns, chargrille­d

Mayonnaise, or vegan mayonnaise

A little more sweet smoked paprika

Manchego or vegan cheese, thinly sliced

1 handful cress

Step 1

Put the walnuts into a hot dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat for five to seven minutes, stirring often, until golden. Tip into a bowl to cool. Return the pan to the heat. Add a little oil, the onion and chili. Cook for 10 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Step 2

Blitz the cooled walnuts with the cumin and paprika. Add half a teaspoon each of salt and black pepper to the blender and mix until it resembles fine breadcrumb­s. Mash the beans in a bowl with a fork. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, apricots, rice, onion and chili mixture, walnut mixture and breadcrumb­s and mix well to a mouldable dough. If it seems dry, add a little oil from the tomatoes.

Step 3

Line a tray with baking paper. Squeeze together a quarter of the mixture, put it on the tray and flatten slightly into a burger shape. Repeat until you have four burgers. Brush each with a little oil. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes or until you need to cook them. You can freeze them at this point too; they keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Step 4

Heat a frying pan until hot. Add a little oil and fry the burgers for about three to four minutes on each side, not moving them until a crust has formed. The burgers are quite fragile, so be gentle with them. Alternativ­ely, you could bake them in the oven at 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 for 10 minutes.

Step 5

Meanwhile, make your salsa. Chop the peppers, tomatoes and olives together on a board, then add to a bowl with a good pinch of salt, the vinegar and oil. Taste and add more salt, vinegar and oil as needed.

Step 6

To assemble the burgers, spread both sides of the bun with a little mayonnaise. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and add the salsa to the bottom half of the bun. Put the burger on top, then a couple of slices of Manchego, a big pinch of cress and the top half of the bun.

Makes four

 ?? ISSY CROKER ?? Pimenton burgers from One Pot, Pan, Planet are a veggie burger that doesn't hide what it is - it proudly celebrates its flavours and doesn't pretend to be meat.
ISSY CROKER Pimenton burgers from One Pot, Pan, Planet are a veggie burger that doesn't hide what it is - it proudly celebrates its flavours and doesn't pretend to be meat.

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