Sweet potato and chickpea burgers with halloumi


This is an incredibly cheap, quick, healthy and satisfying meal (don’t scrimp on the cheese). In these hastily executed dinner photos I decided to add the halloumi to the side salad – this was a mistake. It’s much better in the burger. The burgers would also be a great kid’s or weaning meal, and freeze well.

Incidentally, it was a good side salad: ribbon carrot or courgette with a potato peeler. Some kind of salad leaves. Tip boiling water over frozen peas, drain. Cress. Whizz up mint, parsley, a good squeeze of lemon juice, Dijon mustard, pepper and olive oil in the Magimix. Toss together. If you have time, toast seeds to sprinkle over.

Makes 5 burgers (I know, it’s a weird number, but that’s how many it makes. I made four and two small ones for toddler meals.)

1 can/carton of chickpeas
1/2 lemon, zest and 1 tbsp of juice
1 sweet potato (about 350g)
60g breadcrumbs (about two tablespoons)
1 egg
3 teaspoons of a combination of any of the following: cumin/mild curry powder/garam masala/ground coriander/sumac/paprika
salt and pepper
1 small clove garlic, crushed
250g halloumi, cut into 1cm slices

5 burger buns / English muffins, sliced in half.
3 large tomatoes, sliced

5 tablespoons natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

Preheat oven to 180C / gas 4. Lightly grease a baking tray.

Wrap the sweet potato in damp kitchen roll and cook in the microwave for 6 – 10 minutes until soft (or peel, slice and bake for 25 minutes).

While that’s nuking, crush the chickpeas in a large mixing bowl with a potato masher – don’t crush them too fine, you want a variety of textures in there with some remaining almost whole. Tip in the lemon zest and juice, spices, egg, salt and pepper, crushed garlic and breadcrumbs.

When it’s soft all the way through (stab it with a sharp knife to check), unwrap the sweet potato and leave until cool enough to handle. Peel off the skin and roughly break the flesh up into the rest of the mixture, then with your hands scrunch it all together and form into five patties, putting them onto the baking tray as you go.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, then sear the patties for two minutes on each side. Keep the frying pan out for the halloumi. Transfer them to the baking tray and when you’re ready to serve up put them in the oven for five minutes. For the last two minutes of cooking time, place the buns in the oven cut side up so they lightly toast.

Heat the frying pan back up and sear the halloumi slices for a minute each side until browned.

Stir the parsley and mint through the yoghurt.

Serve in buttered buns (some kind of chilli sauce is also a good idea), topped with a slice of halloumi and tomato and a dollop of yoghurt – keep the rest to dip into.