Ingredients

1 medium eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
fine salt
2 x 200g packets haloumi, sliced into thick pieces
4 x burger buns (I use Gluten Freedom Sweet Potato Sourdough Buns by Venerdi)
lettuce, tomato slices, cucumber slices & mayonnaise, to serve
FOR THE SMOKY POTATOES
1kg baby potatoes, scrubbed, any larger ones halved
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
olive oil
FOR THE SALSA VERDE
a big handful flat-leafed parsley, leaves picked (approx. 1 cup)
a big handful mint leaves (approx. 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
juice of ½ lemon
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE PRESERVED LEMON AIOLI
1 cup good-quality mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 preserved lemon, flesh discarded & skin finely chopped
I love a good vege burger and these pattie-less ones are super simple to prepare and packed with so much flavour thanks to the salsa verde. I like my smoky potatoes a little charred and crispy so I give them a double cooking but they are also lovely eaten straight from the foil parcels if you’re not fussed. If you don’t have any preserved lemons for the aioli, use 1-2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest and a tiny squeeze of lemon juice instead. I like to be generous with the haloumi, but at a pinch, you could get away with using just one packet if preferred. This salsa verde recipe will make more than you’ll need for the burgers, but it will store in the fridge for up to a week and is delicious stirred through pasta, spread on sandwiches or dolloped on salads.

Instructions

1.Preheat the barbecue to a medium-high heat.
2.Sprinkle a little salt on each slice of eggplant and set aside on a large plate for 20 minutes.
3.Combine the potatoes in a bowl with smoked paprika, a good drizzle of olive oil and plenty of fine salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4.Place 3 large pieces of foil on the bench and top each with a piece of baking paper.
5.Divide the potatoes evenly, placing them onto the centre of the baking paper, then fold the paper and foil to enclose.
6.Place on the barbecue and cook, turning every 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer (approx. 30-40 minutes).
7.Remove from the heat and set aside.
8.When ready to eat, open the parcels carefully and transfer the potatoes briefly to the grill, turning often until lightly charred and crisp.
9.Combine all the salsa verde ingredients in a small food processor and process until finely chopped.
10.Season with fine salt and freshly ground black pepper.
11.Rinse the eggplant under cold water to remove any excess salt, then grill until tender and charred on both sides (approx. 4-5 minutes on each side).
12.Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl, and gently stir through a couple of generous spoonfuls of salsa verde to coat well.
13.To make the preserved lemon aioli, combine all ingredients in a small bowl, season to taste and mix well.
14.To serve, grill the haloumi slices until golden on each side, heat the buns (cut side only) briefly over the barbecue.
15.Spread mayonnaise on the bottom of each bun, top with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, eggplant slices and haloumi.
16.Serve with smoky potatoes and preserved lemon aioli.

Recipes, food styling & photography Emma Galloway

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