I have things cooking. Ok, I have lunch to make and I am currently baking up a fresh loaf of The Brussels Vegetarian Network's website - which, I have officially launched (crowds cheering), so, in this busy afternoon I have recruited the styles of one Mr. Kevin Healey, who will now, share with you his master cooking (and super killer bean burgers I made last night). If the British accent is too thick for you, just let me know and I will rewrite the post this afternoon.
Over to K!
After a hike up the Little Hell Gorge (Gola del'Infernaccio) in 30+ degrees, a barbeque seemed the only choice. And, of course, it fits the age-old stereotypical "man make fire" approach to cooking. Our ingredients almost all came from the front garden, with the exception of a yellow pepper and a couple of beautiful purple aubergines (that's eggplant in Canadian, eh?).
So, once I'd indulged my cave-man instincts and had achieved a fire even hotter than the gorge, we plonked the veg (peppers green & yellow, aubergine, garlic) over the coals and settled into a beer and a good book, pausing only to turn the veg occasionally and to deal with the odd escaped animal. After 20 mins or so, we had some truly squishy garlic and several incinerated veg, burnt outside but succulent inside. At this point, I handed the hot coals over to the bean-burger queen (a new fast food chain?) and headed for the kitchen, catching the juices from the veg in a bowl.
I washed the peppers under the tap to remove the charred skin, leaving a soft, sweet pulp. (I'm reliably told that a paper bag is a better method, but the burgers were already grilling, no paper bags in sight in our little holiday flat...) Then I sliced the flesh, removed the seeds and added a little of the smoky veg juice and some chopped mint from the garden.
The aubergine/eggplant (maybe it should be melanzane since they were Italian?) got halved and the soft flesh scooped into a bowl. I popped out the softened, sweet garlic from the skins and added a bunch of chopped basil, lemon juice and olive oil. Mash thoroughly, taste, add oil, add lemon, taste...it's up to you, through I must admit the when the oil is a good and cheap as it is here, there is a strong temptation to go overboard. The result - a fresh, smoky, puree that nods its head to the Lebanese moutabal but is much lighter.
For a smoke-free option, we chopped up some tomatos (trans-atlantic pronunciation issues fortunately avoided online) fresh from the vine and added a little oil/lemon/mint dressing.
Back at the grill, the burgers were perfect. All that remained was to grill up some bland bread, rub the toast with garlic and add the tomatoes for perfect bruschetta. Some local wine, the slowly setting sun and a chorus of hounds (of the farm, not stragglers from the hell gorge) accompanied our meal.
As my mother will tell you, I have a problem not getting the last word (there is a great 'good night' story that goes all the way back to 1980 when this vegancowgirl was only a baby in her crib...)
A big thanks to Kevin and his sexy blog post. I wanted to get the bean burger recipe out there, because it was so killer easy, and they grilled better than any veg burger I have ever made (from a recipe or otherwise)
Lynnie's Bean BabiesIngredients
1 tin of black beans
1 tin of chick peas
3 tsp of flour (your choice...I think)
1 tsp of yeast 2 tsp of olive oil
3 garlic cloves - diced uber tiny herbs to your taste
I simply washed the beans and added them to a bowl, whereby I went to town squishing them between my fingers. I added the remaining ingredients in this order: oil, mix; flour, mix; yeast, mix.
When everything seemed to be glued together I went to work on making 4 patties. They went on the grill for about 10 minutes on each side, and were thick without unpleasant density, and I vote the combo of black beans and chick peas five stars!