The recipe is from British cook and food writer Anna Jones’ new book, The Modern Cook’s Year, which features more than 250 vegetarian recipes divided into six seasons.
“Summer barbecues are often when I feel a bit short-changed as a vegetarian; these burgers are an attempt to remedy that,” she writes in the recipe introduciton. “They are flavour-packed, with umami from the smoked tofu and smoky paprika, and some buttery sweetness from the mashed roast carrots.
“These burgers hold up well on the barbecue – just be sure to make them in advance and give them some time in the fridge to firm up.
“I roast the carrots in the oven, as I usually like to make these in advance, but if you were so inclined you could roast them wrapped in foil in the embers of the barbecue.
“Vegans can replace the parmesan with a teaspoon of nutritional yeast and the mayo with a vegan mayo.”
Smoky Roast Carrot Burgers
600g carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2cm rounds
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly bashed in a pestle and mortar
200g smoked tofu
100g rye breadcrumbs
A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
60g grated parmesan
50g sesame seeds, toasted
6 good burger buns or slices of rye bread
A punnet of salad cress
6 tablespoons good mayonnaise
12 small lettuce leaves
First, roast your carrots. Tumble the carrots on to a tray with the smoked paprika, cumin, some salt and pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes, until completely soft and starting to brown.
While these are roasting, finely crumble half the tofu into a bowl and add the breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon zest, parmesan and sesame seeds.
Once the carrots are ready, take them out of the oven (leave the oven on if you want to bake your burgers) and allow them to cool a little before blitzing in a food processor with the remaining tofu, until everything is evenly distributed and the mixture is pretty smooth.
Allow to cool a little, then add this to the breadcrumb mixture and mix well, using a spoon to mash and persuade everything to come together. If your mixture looks a little dry, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or water until it comes together nicely.
Shape the mixture into 6 patties, lay them on a plate and put them into the fridge for 20 minutes.
Once you are ready to cook, put a large frying pan on a medium heat and add a little olive oil, swirling it to coat the pan. Add the burgers and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping them once they are well coloured. Alternatively you could cook them in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes. If you are barbecuing the burgers, brush them with oil before cooking on one side, flipping only when they are coloured and crisp enough to come away from the bars easily.
While the burgers are cooking, split and toast your buns, slice your avocados and snip your cress.
Spread the bottom of each bun with a spoonful of mayonnaise, add a pinch of paprika, then top with the lettuce leaves, avocado, the burger and a crown of cress. Cover with the lid of the bun and eat straight away.
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