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Cauliflower Cheese Burgers

Serves 6
Takes 30 minutes 

These cheesey, crunchy, gorgeously vegetal tasting burgers are lovely in sourdough muffins, or just on a plate with a heap of nicely dressed green salad. They’re easy peasy to make, and freeze well; just pop them on a plate and put them into the freezer before the eggwash and breadcrumbs stage, then once they’re frozen, put them in a freezer bag.

If you have a large cauliflower and space in your freezer, it doesn't hurt to make double quality of this. 

4 spring onion whites, finely chopped
1 small head of cauliflower, about 200g, trimmed and separated into florets
140g tinned haricot beans (drained weight)
85g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
80g mature cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbspns chopped flat leaf parsley, chopped
1.5 tbspns roasted hazelnuts, chopped
a pinch of grated nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg, beaten
oil for frying

Oaf leaf lettuce, or iceberg lettuce to serve
6 sourdough muffins (optional)
1 large tomato, in 6 slices 
a few fronds of dill

  • Steam the cauliflower florets for 7 or so minutes, until just tender. Drain well, and leave in the colander or sieve to cool. When it’s cooled a good bit, put it into a large bowl with the haricot beans and mash with a potato masher. You don’t want to pummel it into oblivion, it should still be nicely chunky. Add the spring onions, the grated cheese, the parsley, the nutmeg, the lemon zest and the hazelnuts. Mix carefully, and season. Then form the mix into 6 burgers, making sure they’re good and compacted and put on a plate 
  • On another plate, spread out half of the breadcrumbs. Paint the upper surface of each burger with beaten egg, then place each burger egg side down on the crumbs. Press down, then eggwash the upper surface of each burger. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs evenly over the burgers, and press down with the palm of your hand 
  • When you’re ready to serve, get a non-stick frying pan good and hot with a tablespoon of ground nut oil in it. Then turn the heat down to about half, and put the burgers in. Fry them gently for about 4 minutes each side, then turn them over carefully, and fry the other side for about 4 minutes 
  • If you’re serving them on sourdough muffins, split the muffins horizontally and toast them lightly, then place a scant handful of leaves on one half of each bun. Place a burger on top, and the other half of the bun too. Place a slice of tomato on each burger. Serve, with salad leaves on the side, a little scattering of dill, and condiments; mayonnaise, walnut and caramelised onion dressing or Onion & Ginger Marmalade 
  • If you’re not using the buns, we’ve found that wrapping each burger in a large lettuce leaf works very well indeed