Making veggie burgers is somehow risky. It is difficult to get the right texture…Sometimes they are so dry that you need to add one liter of water to fix them, or so soft and mushy that when you turn them, they get broken easily looking like a mix of god knows what…. In this last particular case, I usually use a technique which never fails: cook them in the oven. The pan can be a nuisance if they get stuck to it…When that happens you need to make several batches, and you also need to be present and keep an eye on them all the time. The oven allows you to be free so that in the meantime you can prepare the table and get the side dishes ready. But the most important thing is that you can be certain that they will get brown outside without drying up the inside. And that is why it is important for the dough to be wet and enough bland in order to maintain the shape when making the burger. It is always necessary to have the hands slightly wet. And it is also important for the oven to be strong. In this example, everything is cooked and that is why the baking is only important to create the crust which will set against the inside.
This recipe is perfect in case you wish to organize a little bit your stock of “homemade” products in the freezer.
With the amount of dough I use in this recipe we, two adults and a kid, ate more than enough, and this is what I do with the raw leftovers I have left, I placed them in a tray or a in plate with parchment paper – preventing them from touching each other – and freeze them, instead of wrapping them in plastic one by one. When they are enough hard, I place them in zip bags and put them again in the freezer. This way you will always have some on hand and you will be able to take out as many as you need depending on the number of persons you have for lunch.
Besides, the dough gets better day after day and so, whenever you have more time to cook, you can prepare the dinner for that night and let the burgers covered in a bowl for the next day dinner. This is what we call, optimization of the time we spend in the kitchen or cooking only one time for several days.
I should recognize that I came out with this particular flavor association because this summer one of my acquaintances was suffering from stomach ache. I was thinking about things he could eat and suggested him to eat food which could be well digested by the stomach, and turns out that the millet is a good digestive partner – which replaces the omnipresent rice – besides being also an alkaline grain as opposed to the rest of the grains. It contains a lot of fiber, minerals and it helps to cleanse the intestine. Looking up in one of my nutrition tutorials, I also read that its nutritional virtues were even better if coupled with pumpkin. I had a recipe. It could be a pumpkin soup with millet, or something pilaf-like or even ground maize and sautéed pumpkin, but I decided to make a burger because the millet would keep the dough together easily without the need for egg, something that in this particular case wasn´t that important as my friend didn’t eat eggs. And then, I came out with the idea of the salvia, which gets along very well with the pumpkin, and provides not only the flavor but all of its properties, especially the digestive ones (among many other)! Well, I guess we can say we are playing with the “golden stomach trio”.
Hope you enjoy it, because it tastes good even the next day when it is cold!
330 gr of millet
1.100 gr of peeled pumpkin
1 tsp of salt
20 leaves (5 gr) of fresh sage
2 tbsp of ghee or coconut oil
1 chopped medium onion
1 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp oregano
2 tsp of salt
100 gr of sunflower seeds
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 tbsp of ground flax
30 gr of gluten free oats
- Cut the pumpkin into cubes of approximately 1,5 cm. Put it in an oven tray along with the salt (1tsp), the chopped onion, the salve and the ghee. Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- In the meantime, put a pot of water with salt over high heat, wash the millet in a strainer and cook it for 17 minutes once the water starts to boil. Strain it and use cold water to stop the cooking. Set it aside.
- Crush the oats and 70 gr of sunflower seeds. I do this with a coffee grinder which I only use for spices and small quantities of seeds (NO COFFEE). I strongly recommend you to buy one because they are cheap and very useful.
- Place everything in a big bowl, together with the rest of the ingredients. Mix it with the hands pressing slightly every time, but without dissolving the pumpkin completely.
- Let it stand in the fridge for about four hours.
- To cook them, heat the oven to 225ºC. Take the bowl out of the fridge and prepare another small one with a bit of water, besides getting ready an oven tray with parchment paper and a bit of oil. "Paint" the leave with the oil (I do it with the hand) so the grease gets the burger brown. Moisten the hands and make the burgers keeping a distance of about 3 cm in between them. (If you are not going to make all of them, keep whatever is left and make them later). Put a bit more of oil over each of them and bake it for about 40/45 min. Half an hour later, turn them over carefully with a spatula and let them get brown on the other side. They must get brown and crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside.