I orginally intended to post these spiced pumpkin patties for Halloween but the first time I made them, the ratio of pumpkin to chickpea was off and they were too mushy. I wanted a bit more texture and nutty flavour from the chickpeas and so had to hold off until I made them again. This time I cracked it by upping the chickpea content and leaving some of them whole which gave the burgers a lot more bite.
Since making the switch from canned chickpeas to dried, I literally cannot get enough of them. The difference in flavour and texture is staggering. I always thought the humble chickpea was a bit bland and boring, having absolutely no idea what I was missing out on. And really, it’s not that much hassle. OK, so it is (mainly the cooking time), but I think the rewards are well worth it.
You could use any orange-fleshed squash for this recipe – you can see that I didn’t use a ‘traditional’ pumpkin this time around, basically because I couldn’t find one – and I have no idea whether the squash I used was even grown in this country to be quite honest – I know, I know, my bad. I was desperate, desperate I tell you!
I’ve subtly spiced the burgers with a touch of cumin, coriander and a scant teaspoon of smoked paprika, which is great with the sweet pumpkin flavour. Be careful though, not to overdo it with this spice, it’s very easy to sprinkle too far and end up with a smokyness that completely overwhelms everything. For herbage, I tried using coriander the first time around and then basil and parsley the second, both were delicious. Some onion and garlic and they’re good to go, couldn’t be simpler. Chuck everything in a blender then shape as desired. Healthy, easy (pumpin carving aside, I really need new knives) and so satisfying.
To serve, I topped them with tzatziki (yes, I categorised this post as ‘vegan’ so just skip this or use an alternative) and a quick salsa made from tomatoes, red onion and lime juice. A nice bit of tang and crunch to contrast the soft and sweet burger. One small bit of advice though – despite using a beautifully crafted and truly delicious baguette for the bun, I actually wanted something a bit more wholesome and, ideally, seeded – alas, I could not find anything. I recommend this option if it’s your thing as I think it would complement the burgers much better.
So, there we have it. A Halloween recipe that is 9 days late. Good job these burgers are far too good to eat just once a year anyway.
Pumpkin and Chickpea Burgers
(makes 6 burgers)
500g cooked chickpeas
300g roasted orange fleshed squash (I like it roasted, which you can do while getting the other ingredients ready. Just splash with oil, season with salt and pepper and stick in the oven until tender – mine only took about 20 minutes)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
A good handful herbs of your choice (basil, parsley and coriander all work well), roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
– Add everything to a blender, apart from 150g of the chickpeas. Blend everything together until well mixed, then stir in the whole chickpeas. Adjust the seasoning then shape into burgers.
– Fry the burgers in a non-stick pan in a small amount of oil until golden on both sides.