In Which I Make Mushroom Burgers

So, I’ve decided to post up my signature recipe for mushroom burgers. I make this one frequently in the summer (and often in the winter) and it’s my favourite from-scratch recipe since I became vegetarian, though I sometimes substitute pre-made alternatives if I’m particularly tired – usually the wedges. At a first glance, it may look like a lot of ingredients, but this recipe is so versatile you can swap and change almost every element with whatever is in your cupboard/fridge; usually all I really need to buy is mushrooms, buns and potato.

Below I’ve given my core recipe and the one I make most often, but I’ll often swap things; switch the sweet potato for regular potato, or courgette; pick any cheese you like (even cream cheese – we had it with Boursin the other day, mixed into the stuffing, and it was delish); swap the avocado for hummus, or leave it out altogether.

Serves 2

For the Wedges
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

For the Burgers
2 Portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs or 1 teaspoon flour
handful basil (optional)
2 slices/handful grated cheese

To Serve
Knob of butter
2 brioche buns
1 avocado
½ lemon, or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
3 tablespoons Greek-style yogurt
½ teaspoon harissa

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

For the Wedges
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunky wedges, or chips as you prefer. Place in a glass bowl (you don’t want to use a plastic one, as it will stain), pour over the oil and sprinkle over the spices. Feel free to experiment with different spice blends as you prefer. Mix together thoroughly, adding more oil if needed to coat the wedges. Tip into a large pan and roast in the oven for 30–40 minutes until cooked through.

For the Burgers
Meanwhile, remove the stems from the mushrooms and place in a food processor with the breadcrumbs or flour and basil, if using. Season and pulse a few times to dice (don’t blend to a paste). Alternatively you can finely dice by hand. Spoon this mixture into the cups of the mushrooms and press down, then top each with a slice of cheese.

Place in the oven to roast for 5–10 minutes until the cheese has melted (if you’ve picked a melty cheese) and the mushroom is cooked. If you’re super speedy, you might want to wait until the potatoes have 10 minutes left on the timer, so everything in the oven is ready at the same time.

To Serve
Halve the brioche buns. Melt a knob of butter in a large frying pan and lightly toast the brioche on the cut side. Alternatively, spread with butter and toast in a toaster, or just have plain.

While everything is in the oven, prepare the avocado. Scrape the flesh into a food processor and add a squeeze of lemon, pinch of sea salt and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Blitz for a few seconds until chunky but not smooth. Alternatively, mash by hand or, if you prefer it unsmashed, simply slice and dress with the lemon juice and sea salt.

Spoon the yogurt into a small bowl, add a squeeze of lemon and the harissa, then season. Mix together roughly.

By now the wedges and mushroom should be done. Assemble everything on two plates – I like to smear the top and bottom buns with the yogurt mixture, then put a mushroom with avocado on top. I’ll usually spoon some extra yogurt on the side as a dip to have with the wedges. Enjoy!