Mushroom & Rice Burgers with Raw Cashew Hummus

I had some leftover rice from a black bean and sweet potato chilli party last week and, as vegans have a bit of a reputation for burger eating, I decided to use them as the base for a Sunday night tea of burgers, salad and baked potatoes. Usually I would be adding cheese and an egg to my burger mix, but participating in #veganuary has taught me that it just isn’t needed and does little to ass to flavour or texture.

The raw cashew hummus is from Lee Watson’s brilliant book Parsnips and Peace and works brilliantly with the jacket spuds as an alternative to the rather unpleasant dairy-free margarines on the market. I just left out the cumin as not sure that would have worked with the burgers.

This makes 4 burgers

For the burgers
1 cup cooked rice
1x400g tin of cannelini beans – drained. You could use butter beans or chick peas if you prefer
3 shallots – finely chopped
1 fat clove garlic – finely chopped
1 cup mushrooms – finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for frying the burgers
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Marmite
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tahini
1 large handful of spinach – chopped

Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until translucent. Now add the mushrooms, soy and Marmite. Cook on a medium to high heat until the mushrooms are soft and the pan is almost dry. Leave to cool.

Put the drained beans in a large mixing bowl and mash roughly with a potato masher or fork. Add the rice, tahini, oregano, spinach and mushroom mixture. Mix well.

Take a large frying pan, drizzle with oil and place over a medium heat. Take a large handful of the burger mixture, shape into a ball. Place in the pan and squidge it down to resemble a burger. You may need to shape it a little with your spatula. Do this for the other three burgers if your pan is large enough, or fry in batches and keep warm in the oven. These are quite fragile so best to disturb them as little as possible. Leave to cook on one side for around 10 minutes, then gently lift and turn, and fry for further 10 minutes. Again you may have to push them back into shape if they fall apart a little.

Once done, lift and plate up with a white cabbage and fennel slaw and a hot jacket potato crammed full of the cashew hummus.

For the Hummus
250g cashews (not the roasted salted ones) – soaked in water for 3-4 hours
3 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic
100ml olive oil
juice of half a lemon
a little water

Drain the cashews then put everything in the food processor. Blitz until smooth and creamy, adding a little water if needed to loosen it up. Make sure you scrape down the sides between blitzing to remove all the lumpy bits..

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