Chickpea Burgers and Cellular Motility

The life of a recipe rebel is not predictable. I’ve made dozens of dinner disasters and a multitude of mediocre meals, but every now and then, I stumble upon gastronomic genius. It’s not easy to find meals that are tasty, healthy, and economical, but I think we’ve struck gold here, friends. The composition of rich, nutty cheddar-wheat brioche rolls, spicy chickpea and red-pepper burgers, tart and creamy lime-cilantro sour cream, and buttery avocado is really somethin’ special.

It’s important to use light, fluffy rolls for these sandwiches because the chickpea burgers are rather delicate. These cheddar-wheat brioche rolls aren’t heavy or overly cheesy, but they are rich and savory.

 Cheddar Wheat Brioche Rolls (inspired by this recipe)

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (the sharper, the better!)
  1. In a glass measuring cup, combine water, milk, yeast and honey. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat 1 egg.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Stir in shredded cheese.
  3. Stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for 8-10 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. It will be just a little sticky – this aids in a lighter roll in the end! If it’s too difficult to knead, though, add a little extra flour.
  4. Shape dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  5. Punch dough down and form into roll-sized balls. This is totally up to you. Do what makes you happy. Big rolls, little rolls, medium-sized rolls. Flatten the balls slightly and cover with plastic wrap to rise another hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake rolls for 15-20 minutes. Brush with melted butter when they’re done.

Now for the burgers!

 Red-Pepper Chickpea Burgers

  • 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbonzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • flour
  1. Saute vegetables and garlic until tender. Add beans and spices and let them cook together for about 15 minutes. You may have to add some water to your pan to keep it from sticking/burning. Allowing everything to cook together will help all the flavors mingle and will also help get rid of some of the “canned” taste of the beans.
  2. Transfer the bean mixture to a mixing bowl and mash everything together with a fork. Don’t worry about making it totally smooth – little chunks of carrot and pepper make it look pretty and taste delicious!
  3. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, form into patties and dredge in flour. I pan-fried my burgers, but you could probably bake them, as well. Whatever you choose to do, just know that these will never get very firm, so treat them gently. This recipe made three large patties for me, so keep that in mind if you’re making these for a family!

Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

  • 1/4 cup finely diced cilantro
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • juice of one small lime
  1. Stir everything together.
  2. That’s basically it.

Assemble your burgers! 

  1. Split your rolls and toast them, if you so desire.
  2. Liberally spread on the sour cream.
  3. Place a burger on one side and layer on sliced avocado.
  4. Put everything together and enjoy!

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