Laverbread vegetarian Burgers with crunchy seasonal salad

Cooking with Tatiana

TATIANA BENTO of the Marmalade Cookery School brings us an interesting recipe using laverbread.

This month we are going Welsh again but we are also going veggie. This is a brilliant recipe so veggie or not – give this a try… you’ll never look at laverbread the same way again

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SERVES 4

Ingredients for the burger:

       120g laverbread fresh or tinned is fine

75g rolled oats, organic if you can

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced

50g fresh breadcrumbs

50g mature cheddar cheese, grated

1 teaspoon good English mustard

Black pepper to taste

Vegetable or olive oil for shallow frying

4 buns

4 rashers of good quality streaky bacon (optional if you are not a veggie)

Ingredients for the salad:

3 carrots

3 raw beetroots

1 bunch of radishes

1 baby gem lettuce or red lettuce

1 fennel bulb

1 lemon

½ a bunch of fresh mint

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

1 Conference pear or Granny Smith apple, firm

Freshly ground black pepper

TO MAKE:

In a bowl, add the laverbread and rolled oats and combine well. Set aside for it to firm up.

In the meantime, heat olive oil up, add the leeks and cook on low heat until soft and golden. Stir in the laverbread and oat mix. Mix well.

Then add the breadcrumbs, gently stir in the cheese and mustard. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

Tip #1: Go easy on the salt, the laverbread is naturally salty already so if in doubt put a little salt and fry a small piece so you can try it and make sure. Adjust until you are happy with it. 

Divide the mixture into 4 balls and shape into burgers.

Tip #2: You can either leave these in the fridge to firm up or cook immediately. I like to make sure they are nice and firm so I use this time to make my sides, in this case a lovely seasonal root vegetable salad.

It’s time to make your salad so start by washing and cleaning your vegetables; slice the beetroots and carrots into long ribbons. Place in a bowl.

Tip #3:  If you use a vegetable peeler or mandolin it will make your job a lot easier and faster.

Carefully cut the tops and tails off the radishes, then finely slice and add to the bowl. Trim and finely slice the lettuce, discarding any tough ‘stalky’ bits, then add to the bowl.

Pick the leafy fennel tops and put to one side, then finely slice the fennel bulb and add to the bowl. Cut your pear into julienne sticks and add to the bowl.

Now cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. Pick and finely chop the mint leaves, keeping the baby ones to one side, then add to the small bowl.

Add the extra virgin olive oil and whisk together with a fork. Taste the dressing and season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper (if you think it needs it) then pour over the root vegetables and taste again to check you’re happy.

Toss the vegetables in the dressing, then transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle over the fennel tops and reserved baby mint leaves.

Now that your salad is ready and waiting for you it’s time to tackle your burgers. Heat about 4 tablespoons of oil and add the burgers, shallow fry for about 4 minutes before flipping over and cooking for another 4 minutes or until golden. Press gently with a spatula if necessary.

While your burgers are cooking fry the bacon until it’s crispy.

When your burger is ready place it inside the bread roll, top with a leaf of lettuce, a slice of tomato and the crisped up bacon if using. Serve immediately with a good spoonful of your salad.

Enjoy

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