The best homemade vegetarian burger

This sweet potato, beetroot, red onion and coriander burger with halloumi is a remedy to uninspired restaurant veggie offerings.

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For vegetarians, there are few things more dejecting than venturing out for a meal with designs on sinking your teeth into some gargantuan monolith of a burger. You cast your gleeful eyes down the menu, taking in the towering carnivorous offerings, with their myriad auxiliary fillings, their multi-species collaborations, before landing on the limp, tokenistic vegetarian effort at the bottom of the pile.

Whilst, mercifully, bean-based atrocities are much less widespread than they once were, there is still a major mismatch when it comes to the burgery wares of restaurants and pubs. This sweet potato, beetroot and red onion burger, which we wholeheartedly advocate serving in a bun alongside a slab of halloumi, some gem lettuce and a dollop of burger relish seeks to offer something for the vegetarian pattyphile to make at home.

To make two, this is what you’ll need:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 100g pre-prepared beetroot, the sort that have been marinated in vinegar, cut into half-centimetre cubes. If you can get your hands on sweetfire-marinated beetroot, even better.
  • 1 smallish red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • flour, to coat the patties
  • 100g halloumi, grilled or fried
  • 2 leaves of gem lettuce
  • 2 rolls or buns of your choice
  • philistinic burger relish (ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard)

Having preheated your oven to around 180°C, bake the sweet potatoes, skins on, for 30-40 minutes, or until the middle is soft enough to mash up. Meanwhile, gently sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil.

Once the potatoes are cooked, wait until they’re cool enough to handle, slice them in half, and scoop out the flesh. Place it in a mixing bowl, and add the onions, garlic and coriander, beetroot and season fairly liberally with salt and pepper. If you feel so inclined, the addition of a touch of cayenne pepper at this juncture could be a virtuoso move.

Mix all of the above well, and shape into patties, making sure to compact them thoroughly. It pays not to make them too thick – no-body likes an interminable expanse of softness in the middle of a burger. Next, coat the exterior of each with a dusting of flour.

Fry the patties over a medium heat in olive oil, flipping occasionally, until each side is golden brown.

To assemble the burgers, slice the rolls in half, and introduce the patties, halloumi, grilled or fried, lettuce, and relish in whichever order you believe to be most alchemical.

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