A google search for chickpea cutlet veganomicon yields about 12900 English web pages. So what can I say about these patties that hasn't been said already? Actually, I'm hoping the photo above might communicate a good thousand words on my behalf.
For the uninitiated, Veganomicon is the latest cookbook to come from Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Published only last year, it has instantly become the go-to book for cruelty-free cooking. And these chickpea cutlets are allegedly the authors' favourite recipe in said bible. The use of wheat gluten ensures that the patties won't crumble to bits, and it adds a unique texture. The brief three-minute knead forms gluten strands and I expect that some experimentation is warranted either side of that guideline to achieve your preferred texture, from soft and tender to dense and chewy.
These were easy to pull together on a weeknight, and I initially tried one with a splash of lemon, and side of baked potatoes and steamed broccolini. It was just the comfort meal I needed, reminding me very much of the meat and three veg that my grandmother used to prepare. Then I reheated a leftover cutlet in the frypan on Saturday afternoon for a lunchtime burger.
This might have been the best burger ever.
The chickpea cutlet's new crew of BFFs are a multigrain roll, a handful of rocket, a quarter of an avocado and a loving spoonful of baked tomatillo salsa. Their powers combined form a burger that not only tastes fantastic, but tastes like you're doing your body a favour.
(the recipe is everywhere, but appears to have been posted to Chow.com by the authors themselves)
1 cup cooked chickpeas (I used a 400g can, drained)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup wheat gluten (I used Lotus 'gluten flour' from Allergy Block)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vege stock or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced (I actually used the dry powdered stuff)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
extra oil for frying or greasing
Mash the chickpeas and oil together in a bowl until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and combine to form a dough. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes, until gluten strings form. Divide the dough into four pieces and form them into patties, no more than 1.5 cm thick.
Now you can bake or fry them. I did a combination of both: frying in a little oil until golden on both sides, then baking for a further 15 minutes to cook through.