I’m forever in pursuit of the perfect beef burger, dedicating no fewer than two meals to research on trips I take to countries with strong burger cultures. Recently, however, I’ve begun to reevaluate veggie burgers. My original interest was killed by the seemingly unavoidable black bean base I found for any veggie burger option on restaurant menus. But early this year, I was introduced to the book Green Burgers by self-proclaimed “cabbage-butcher,” Martin Nordin. Martin’s book takes a broad approach to vegetarian recipes for burgers, sometimes in the patty form, sometimes deep fried, other times in artfully coiled vegetable compositions. There are a lot of recipes out there for quinoa and sweet potato burgers, but the ingredients list for Martin’s Quinoa Sweet Potato Burger with Horseradish Sour Cream, Shallots and Chives is short and sweet. It’s easy to make, and the horseradish sour cream completes the package and catapults it to the top of my list. If you make extra burgers, just wrap them well and freeze them, reheating them in the oven or a frying pan when you’re ready for more. —Kristina
Why Martin loves this burger: “The idea behind this burger was just that I love the combo between the sweet potato and the pungent peppery horseradish, which I cool down with the cold, creamy crème fraîche or sour cream. It is something that I have prepared so many times for weekend dinners. When choosing your bread, I would recommend going for a less sweet burger bun for this one since it is mainly sweet potato in the patty.”
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About Martin: Martin Nordin, aka The Cabbage Butcher, has a wonderful sense of vision, style and flavor. He spends his weekdays working in advertising and communication, but spends his spare time composing burgers, perfecting dressings and balancing sweet and salt in the quest to create perfect pickled jalapeños. Find Martin on Instagram @Martin_Nordin.
Image above: Quinoa and Sweet Potato Burger with Horseradish Sour Cream, Shallots and Chives
Image above: Nut butter
Image above: portrait of Martin Nordin
- For 6 burgers:
- 600g (1lb 5oz) sweet potatoes (3 medium sweet potatoes)
- 2 eggs
- 100 g (3.5oz/1 scant cup) chickpea (besan) flour
- 1 tsp chilli powder, preferably piment d'Espelette
- 1 tbsp Walnut Butter or other Nut Butter (see text below recipe steps)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- pinch of sea salt
- 200g (7oz/1 cup) boiled quinoa
- rapeseed or peanut oil for frying
- Horseradish sour cream:
- 3 tbsp finely grated fresh horseradish
- 300g (10.5oz/1 1/4 cups) sour cream or crème fraîche
- sea salt
- To serve:
- 6 burger buns
- butter for the buns
- finely sliced red Asian shallots
- finely chopped fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F/Gas 6)
Put the sweet potatoes into an ovenproof dish and bake them in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes or until they are soft all the way through.
Split the potatoes length-ways and scoop out the insides with a spoon.
Lightly whisk the eggs in a food processor using a knife blade. Add the sweet potatoes, chickpea flour, chilli powder, mustard, nut butter, lemon juice and salt, and pulse-blend until all the ingredients are well combined. Transfer to a bowl and add the quinoa. Turn the mixture with a spoon so that everything is well blended.
Take a handful of mixture at a time and shape into 6 round patties, either by hand or using a food ring. Put the patties on a plate and cover with cling film (plastic wrap). Put in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably longer, so that the patties will hold together better when you fry them.
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4).
Mix the horseradish and sour cream in a bowl. Add salt to taste and put to one side.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan (skillet). Fry both sides of the patties for a few minutes over a medium heat, until they have developed a little color and a nice surface. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake them in the middle of the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Butter the buns on the cut surface and fry them quickly in a frying pan or grill (broil) them in the oven.
Put a patty at the bottom of each bun, splash on some horseradish sour cream and top with shallots and chives.
Several of the burger recipes in this book include various types of nut butter — e.g. almond, cashew and hazelnut. You will find them in well-stocked shops, but be sure to only buy good-quality, natural versions — not the ones that have been sweetened with sugar. If you have a food processor with a knife blade at home it is extremely easy to make your own nut butter. Mix the nuts at maximum speed until you have a fine, smooth butter. This will take 10-20 minutes, depending on food processor, type of nut and quantity. Initially, a nut flour will form, but the nuts will gradually start to release oil, creating a buttery consistency. It is a good idea to have a spatula to hand so you can scrape the nut mass down off the edges. If it is still dry after 15-20 minutes you can pour in a little extra oil, such as peanut, coconut or rapeseed (do not use cold-pressed oil — the flavor of the oil must be as plain as possible).
Recipe excerpted with permission from Green Burgers by Martin Nordin, published by Hardie Grant Books, February 2018