It is time for a good old burger…or is it? In my opinion you can easily have burgers everyday, oh yes. You just need to be creative and willing to substitute some of the original elements and ingredients with new and super delicious alternatives. I have made burgers in so many different ways I can’t even remember. I have substituted the classic, white, soft bread with tender celeriac, egg & veggie “buns”, potato pancakes, different whole grain alternatives and of course portobello mushrooms. The meat has been made as falafel, chicken, fried eggs and also a portobello mushroom. The filling in a burger is always fun to play around with and some of my favourite options are fresh and pickled cucumber, pickled or baked beets, avocado, cheese, fried eggs, salads, tomatoes and grilled vegetables as aubergine, zucchini and pepper.
This time I wanted to make the perfect burger a la 2013. This burger should represent the new healthy start of the year, and at the same time remind us of how wonderful and tasty the healthier alternative can be…
First of all I wanted to change the classic burger accessory ‘fries’ into a healthier and less energy filled alternative. I love green beans and even though they are not in season right now, they are available in an organic and frozen variation which is delicious and filled with vitamins. As soon as you roast the beans in the oven they become crispy and a perfect fit to the lovely aioli. Speaking of aioli, I think it is a very important element in any good burger menu. Since aioli is normally a pure mayo seasoned with herbs and garlic it’s pretty energy dense and you have to eat way less than you (I) feel like. Therefore, I played a little around with it and discovered that a classic aioli spiced with lots of garlic and a generous amount of yoghurt is just as delicious and has far less energy than the regular version. Totally win win
This time I have chosen to pickle my own cucumbers which is very easy and has a lovely twist with some fennel flavours and apple cider vinegar. If you haven’t got the time to prepare it you can easily buy pickled cucumber and use them instead.
What goes for the bun and beef vs. veggies I have mixed it up a bit. I do love to have some bread in a burger to provide some texture, especially when you have veggie fries on the side. So I made a bread bottom and then a portobello top, because the portobello mushrooms are just way to lovely to miss out on, and they are in season right now. The beef has just stayed original, juicy and awesome. I love a juicy hamburger, but if you are a vegetarian just substitute it with something else E.g. this lovely lentil burger from Sara B.
I hope you will follow me on the burger wave and get a super delicious and healthy start of the year!
Portobello burger w. bean fries, pickled cucumber and yoghurt aioli
Fennel pickled cucumber
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (100 ml)
½ tsp. Fennel seeds
4 pepper grains
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp Salt
Half an organic cucumber (200 g)
1. Start with making the pickled cucumber a couple of hours before serving the burgers – or days ahead.
2. Cut the cucumber into thin slices and place them in a jar or a bowl.
3. In a pot, combine all of the other ingredients and bring to a boil. As soon as all of the salt and sugar are dissolved, remove from heat and add it to the jar of cucumber. The cucumber should more or less be covered. Put on a lit and place in the fridge. As soon as you start using the pickled cucumbers, your can add new slices of cucumber to the jar and reuse the vinegar mix.
Yoghurt Aioli with garlic
2 Tbsp mayo
6 Tbsp fromage frais (greek yoghurt 2 %)
3 cloves of garlic
Salt & pepper
1. Peel and crush the garlic. Mix it with mayo and fromage frais. Season with salt and pepper.
Green bean fries
10,5 oz. green beans (300 g) – you can use both fresh and frozen
3-4 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
Salt & Pepper
2 big portobello mushrooms, brushed clean
1/2 ripe avocado
A handful of fresh spinach
10,5 oz organic low fat minced beef (300 g)
2 slices of whole grain bread, or a bun with a nice crust cut in half
1. Preheat oven to 400 °F/200 °C.
2. Mix oil, with crushed garlic, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub the dressing into the portobello mushrooms and on the green bean (if you use fresh beans, boil them for 5 minutes before going into the oven). Place everything on a baking shed and bake in oven for about 15-20 min, or until the portobello is tender and the beans are crispy.
3. While the beans and Portobello are in the oven you prepare the rest. Shape the meat into hamburgers. Season with salt and pepper and fry on a pan until done and juicy.
4. Toast the bread and add a Tbsp of aioli. Add spinach, beef, avocado slices, ketchup, picked cucumber and at last the baked Portobello mushroom.
Serve the burgers with bean fries and lots of aioli on the side. Enjoy!