Wednesday 14 August 2013

Cauliflower burgers with beetroot hummus

There is a lone daffodil growing in our neighbour's garden among the weeds.  Trees in the neighbourhood are out in the blossom.  It is enough to make me want a springtime supper.  Which probably explains a meal of burgers, dips and fresh vegies.  Just the sort of meal I crave on a balmy summer's evening.

When I bought some beetroot at the farmers market recently I decided to make beetroot hummus.  Sylvia loves pink and she loves hummus.  She even asked me to buy some beetroot hummus.  I roasted the beetroots in their skins until they looked shrivelled and ugly.  (In fact you don't really want to let your imagination run free when you look at them!)  I remembered to keep one aside for beetroot, apple and walnut scones.

I also had a bag of dried chickpeas that I cooked up.  It is a long time since I cooked chickpeas from dried.  I blitzed them up with some lemons from my mum's garden, cheap garlic (yes that means imported and bleached!), and tahini from one of our middle eastern shops that I bought for making tahini before discovering I already had a jar in my pantry.

My favourite way to eat hummus is with lots of vegies and crackers or good bread.  This is how I served the beetroot hummus the first night.  E loves it with soy crisps as a late night snack and Sylvia loves it with rice crackers in the afternoon.

I am not serving hummus for dinner much but E and Sylvia are going through hummus like it is going out of fashion.  Sylvia was not keen on my beetroot version but once we finished a regular tub she grudgingly ate some.  E was more complimentary - once I had added more salt to compensate for my unsalted chickpeas.  He also loves it with tabasco.

I had intended to serve it with Cauliflower burgers but I ran out of time on the night I made it.  (It was a busy day at the op shop, the picture framers, the knife shop, a new cafe, JB Hi Fi, and K-Mart.)  So the next night I made the burgers.  I really liked how the cauliflower softened in the burgers to make them almost meltingly delicious.  Even more pleasingly, they were full of vegies, proteins and interesting flavours.  Lovely served with a dollop of hummus, some no knead focaccia and vegies.

I am sending this to Ricki's Wellness Weekends, which is all about sharing healthy recipes.  Adding the vegies to the dips and burgers made them lighter than usual.  I am linking a bit early but it is weekend food - and I highly recommend you check out Ricki's stylish new site design.

On a slightly related note, I have also been fascinated lately by some interesting recipes using unusual ingredients.  Here is a choice selection below together with some of my more unusual recipes.

Unusual recipes from Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Unusual recipes from other bloggers:

Beetroot hummus
Adapted from

4 small to medium beetroot, roasted til soft and then peeled
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice, or to taste
4 small cloves garlic, or to taste
salt to taste (I used 1 and 1/2 tsp salt because my chickpeas were unsalted)
tabasco, black pepper or cayenne pepper, to taste

Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  This took me a few minutes with scraping down the sides a few times.  Check seasoning and adjust to your tastes.  Keep in the fridge in an airtight container.

Cauliflower burgers
Adapted from Anja's Food
Serves 4

3 tbsp ground linseeds (flax meal)
6 tbsp boiling water
1/2 large cauliflower, broken into florets
1 large carrots, chopped into chunks
1/2 small onion (mine was brown but red would be better)
1 garlic clove
1 handful fresh parsley leaves
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp yellow mustard powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
good pinch black pepper
1/2 cup almond meal
1 to 1 1/3 cups dried wholemeal breadcrumbs (or more almond meal)
rice bran oil for frying

Mix ground linseeds and water and set aside to thicken slightly.  Pulse cauliflower, carrot, onion, garlic and parsley in food processor until coarsely ground.  Add sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lemon juice, cumin, smoked paprika, mustard powder, salt and pepper.  Pulse just enough so everything is incorporated.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in almond meal and breadcrumbs.  It should hold together when you take a handful.

Take a handful of mixture and shape into a flat burger.  Repeat with remaining mixture.  I made about 12 but the last few were much smaller.  Heat about 0.5cm of oil in a frypan and fry burgers in batches until golden brown.  Keep burgers warm in a moderate oven until all are done.  They are very fragile when hot out of the pan or oven so it is best to let them sit for  or 10 minutes before serving.

On the Stereo:
Let no man steal your thyme: the Shelagh McDonald collection


  1. How beautiful that hummus is!

  2. I spy brussels sprouts. Win!

    1. Thanks Hannah - sprouts are my winter addition to the vegie platter because not so many green veg about the kitchen

  3. I'm afraid my imagination ran when I saw those roast beetroot photos! Fortunately your beautiful hummus made up for that - it is a stunning colour. I like that list of unusual recipes too, what a great selection.

    1. Thanks Kari - I had to clear my mind to even write about those wrinkled little balls :-) Beetroot is beautiful in hummus - can't believe it has taken me this long to blog a beetroot hummus

  4. I'm always on the lookout for cauliflower recipes and burger recipes so to have them combined sounds perfect to me. I adore burgers all year round, they are great with a pile of roast veggies in winter. Love the colour of the beet hummus too!

    1. Thanks Mel - there are so many great cauliflower recipes about - yet I too am always looking for more and same with burgers. But we eat less burgers at this time of the year.

  5. I love the color of that hummus!! So vibrant!

    1. Thanks Joanne - it is the joy and the frustration of the beetroot that its brilliant colour takes over everything else - no hiding this from a kid :-)

  6. We have been eating hummus non-stop, too! Classic is always our favourite but it is nice to mix it up sometimes. Especially when it is this pretty! I haven't tried beet hummus yet but considering I have 3 beets right now with no purpose, this may very well be the time to try it out :)

    1. Thanks Janet - I just made a classic hummus yesterday because we finished our beetroot hummus - again Sylvia is not keen but I am trying to avoid the bought stuff as long as possible - enjoy the beets, esp if you turn them into hummus

  7. I love the look of your beetroot hummus. I do like beetroot, but I hate peeling them, so I don't cook with them very often. Your cauliflower burgers look amazingly meaty.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I don't mind peeling beetroots usually - though these were a pain because I let them cool after roasting and then they were difficult to peel - I should have peeled them while they were warm - best is slipping off the skins of boiled beetroots

  8. The cauliflower burgers sound great, but I'll take a pass on anything beet-related.

    1. Thanks Yummy C - I'd like to convince you of beetroots charms but burgers are great with so many different sauces and dips that you have lots of other options :-)

  9. I've made beetroot hummus once before and really liked it. My favourite way to serve it is like you with raw veggies and crackers/bread. The burgers sound very scrummy too.
    I'm intrigued by all those bizarre flavour combinations..not sure I'd be brave enough to try them, although rhubarb and chocolate could be good together...

    1. Thanks Emma - Sadly rhubarb is out of season here right now but I have a few of these I would like to try - strawberry sushi is high on my list

  10. those burgers look fantastic! I've been eating tons of cauliflower lately.

    1. Thanks Davida - cauliflower just seems to go brilliantly in anything - I've been eating heaps of it too


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