I’m so happy to tell you guys that this burger was one out of three winners in a veggie burger contest that was announced by the Swedish food magazine Buffé. Can you imagine; they loved my burger so much I actually won! Wow!! I who just participated because I thought it was a funny thing to do… and then I ends up with a prize. Wow again!! I who even disliked cauliflower half a year ago makes a cauliflower burger that isn’t just honored by me and Stefan but by the competition jury as well. Even though I think I might be the biggest in this case 😉
Now when I’ve learnt how fab cauliflower can be it feels kind of weird that I used to hate that vegetable just a short while ago. My motto is that you just have to be served a dish, a food product or a perishable that’s been cooked the right way for you to like it. And it actually make sense! When cauliflower is cooked with the right cooking methods and seasoned to perfection it’s just heavenly; but when you think of that overcooked versions that was popular in the 90’s it brings back some terrible nightmares.
The best thing with cauliflower is that it’s a great carrier of flavors and spices. And don’t forget to use up the stalk as well because it has an outstanding, more chewy texture compared to the florets. When you roast or fry the cauliflower it will take on a nutty tone which I think pairs so damn well with the carmelized, nutty and buttery tones in the Manchego. The burger is seasoned with cumin, chili, chipotle, garlic, parsley and coriander, which brings out a Mexican vibe. You should aim for a flavorful burger but not overwhelmingly hot, the flavors have to be in balance so all the elements gets to shine.
And the pickled onions! Let’s give them some honor as well. In my opinion pickled onion can be paired with almost any every thing. It tastes amazing and reinforces the look of any food. I think it goes certainly well with rich, fatty or fried foods, like burgers. The onion sort of cuts through the richness and lifts the whole dish.
Cauliflower- Quinoa Cheeseburger with Manchego – 8 Burgers
These burgers will for sure gild your Friday night and bring flavor to life.
1000 g cauliflower (1 big)
175 g cooked quinoa (about 1 dl uncooked or 2 ½ dl cooked)
75 g bread crumbs (1 ¼ dl)
100 g Manchego cheese + extra for melting over the top
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves
25 g chipotle paste (1 ½ tbsp.)
30 g fresh cilantro/corander
30 g fresh parsley
1 egg yolk
8 g Dijon mustard (1 tsp)
10 g lime juice (2 tsp)
250 g neutral oil (approx. 2 dl)
5 g runny honey
110 g chipotle paste, or as much as you please (approx 3/4 dl)
2 red onions
½ dl vinegar
1 dl caster sugar
1½ dl water
2 bay leafs
16 white pepper corns
8 burger buns
Oven: 125 °C
Burgers. Grate or finely chop the cauliflower. Fry the cauliflower in some oil on medium heat until most of the moisture has evaporated and the amount have decreased with about 1/3. Towards the end of the cooking time throw in finely chopped chili and garlic and add the dry spices as well. Let the spices get warm before you take the cauliflower mixture of the heat. Let it chill for a few minutes until it’s cool enough to mix with the eggs without ending up with a scramble. Combine with quinoa, breadcrumbs, finely grated Manchego, chipotle paste, finely chopped herbs, sugar and salt. Let the burger mixture set in the fridge for at least an hour or until completely cool. The cooling makes the mixture less sticky and easier to handle. Shape into 8 patties and let rest in the fridge for an additional half an hour before frying the burgers in a generous glug of oil. Fry them on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden and crisp. Veggie burgers have a tendency to fall apart so be careful when flipping them over. When nicely colored on the other side transfer to a tray and slice over some Manchego. Pop the burgers in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is gooey and melted.
Mayo. Combine egg yolk, mustard and lime juice in a bowl. Slowly add the oil, in a thin stream, to the egg mixture under constant whipping. You can either whisk by hand or use an electric mixer. When all the oil is incorporated and you have a thick mayonnaise it’s time to add chipotle paste, honey and season with salt and pepper. The heat in the chipotle paste may vary from different manufacturers so have a taste and add more if you want.
Onion. Add water, sugar, vinegar, whole pepper cornes and bay leafs in a saucepanand heat until the sugar is dissolved. Peel and slice the onion into thin slices. Place the onion in a bowl or container and pure over the hot liquid. Let cool down completely.
To Serve. Split the burger buns in half and toast them in a dry pan until roasted and crisp. Slice tomatoes and avocado. Assemble your burger with the toasted bun, some mayo, lettuce, fresh coriander, tomatoes, avo, picked onion a pattie and the other half of the bun on top.