It was my friend Rosie who got me into bean burgers and they have been a firm favourite ever since. Whenever I went back to England for the weekend whilst living with Rosie, if she knew I wouldn't be home until late on a Sunday night she would always offer to have supper waiting for me, because she knew I would be tired and hungry. Since I knew how good her bean burgers are, this is always what I would ask for. For me, this is the ultimate comfort food, and its by far the best meal for a cold Sunday night, snuggled up with your friend in your little Paris apartment.
The only time I ever seem to eat kidney beans is in chilli, and I had completely forgotten how good they are. They are a real store cupboard staple, and can always be added into soups and stews to bulk it up when you have extra mouths to feed. Beans are full of fibre, which helps regulate the rate of absorption after digestion and so prevents massive blood sugar level swings. The grated carrot gives the burgers a better texture, and sneaks in even more goodness: free-radical fighting antioxidants and lots of vitamin A.
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp ras al hanout (or your favourite spice mix)
1/2 a carrot
1 tin of kidney beans
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds soaked in an equal amount of water)
1 tbsp (ish) of flour - I used buckwheat
Salt and pepper
Finely chop the onion and garlic, then fry in a small amount of olive oïl until soft. Whilst they cook, grate the carrot.
Add the spices, salt and pepper to the pan and cook for about a minute, stirring to prevent sticking. Remove the pan from the heat and add the kidney beans. Mash the mixture with a fork/pulse with a hand blender for a few seconds until two thirds of the beans are pureed but some remain whole/coarsely chopped.
Stir in the carrot and ground flax. Depending on the consistency of your mixture, you may now want to add a bit of flour - I always do. You should be able to shape the mixture into burger shape and it hold. When you have shaped all your burgers, put them in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up a bit.
Heat a drizzle of olive oïl in a frying pan and when it is hot, cook your burgers. They should take about 3 minutes each side to heat through completely.
Serve with salad, guacamole, salsa, lots of fresh coriander and sweet potato wedges (if you want to do it properly!). They are great in a wrap (maybe with some crumbled feta if you are not avoiding dairy), or packaged inside a big lettuce leaf for a lighter option.