It’s hard to believe Memorial Day is just around the corner… Whether you plan on staying home or heading out of town, here is a fun and healthy alternative to the ubiquitous fare of summer weekends. Full of protein, iron, folic acid, and fiber, this seriously delicious chickpea burger tastes nothing like those store-bought frozen hockey pucks we’ve all bought one too many times. They cook well on a stovetop, can stand up to a grill, are perfect for little hands, and freeze well for later use. And if your child is as young as mine, just serve the bread, burger, tomato and cucumber cut up into bite-size pieces with the sauce on the side as a dip. One day I know Audrey will have the dexterity to manage a proper sandwich, but for now we stick to the “deconstructed” method. Enjoy and Happy Memorial Day.
12 months + up
Makes approx. 12 sliders
3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15.5-oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Canola oil for cooking
12 slider buns, toasted*
Cucumber, peeled and sliced for serving
Plum tomatoes, sliced for serving
Tahini sauce for serving, see below
In the food processor, combine 1.5 cups (or 1 can) of the chickpeas with the olive oil, garlic, cumin, tahini, lemon juice, egg, and salt; puree until smooth. Add the remaining chickpeas, breadcrumbs, and parsley; pulse until the chickpeas are coarsely chopped and the mixture is well blended.
Using damp hands shape the chickpea mixture into 12 sliders (about 1/4 cup each); place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet or plate. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes – this will help them firm up for cooking.
Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet until hot and cook sliders (you may need to do this in batches) over medium heat until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Place on a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Wipe out pan and repeat with remaining sliders.
Layer the burgers on buns with the sliced cucumber, tomatoes and a drizzle of tahini sauce.
* If you don’t have slider buns, simply use a juice glass to cut out sliced sandwich bread into small circles. Toast and use as directed.
If grilling: make sure to chill well and brush both sides of sliders with oil before grilling.
Tahini Sauce for Serving
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons water
Put the tahini in a small bowl and gradually whisk in water and lemon juice until smooth.
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