Butterbean and cashew burger with vegan aioli, sauerkraut and apple


    For the sauerkraut:

    1 medium head of cabbage 2 tbsp good quality salt

    2 tsp caraway seeds

    10 sloes (at this time of year)

    For the aioli:

    (makes approx. 600ml – more than you need for this recipe, but it goes with almost everything)

    6 tbsp aquafaba

    2 tbsp sherry vinegar

    1 tbsp Dijon mustard

    450ml cold pressed oil (vegetable/sunflower)

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    2 tsp lemon juice

    1 tsp salt

    8 cloves confit garlic (optional, but recommended)

    For the burgers:

    400g butterbeans, soaked overnight or tinned

    120g cashews

    1 large onion, diced

    1 small leek, diced

    1 stick of celery, diced

    2 tbsp thyme, chopped

    2 tbsp parsley, chopped

    2 tsp sage, chopped

    2 tbsp maple syrup

    2 cloves garlic, chopped

    50g gram flour

    To serve:

    apple slices, about 4mm thick your preferred burger bun

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6 users rated this recipe 4.5 on average.

Main serves 4

Tuck in to this vegan-friendly burgerlicious dish from Jos Fletcher at Thistledown Cafe.

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For the sauerkraut (Making sauerkraut is very simple, but it does need to be done about a week in advance.) Shred the cabbage finely and massage the salt into it for about 10 minutes, adding the caraway and sloes at the end.


Place in a large jar or crock and add weights to hold the cabbage down.


Cover tightly with fabric such as cheese cloth so that it can breath, and move to a cool place (a cold room is perfect – a fridge will slow the process too much). It will slowly release moisture, and the cabbage should be fully submerged after a day or two. It’s important that this happens, as the brine allows the lacto-fermentation to occur and protects the mixture from unwanted bacteria and moulds. If the water level is low then you can dissolve 1 tsp salt in half a pint of water and add to the jar.


Start tasting the sauerkraut after 5 days.


When it tastes good to you, move it to the fridge to stop the process.


For the aioli Start by making the confit garlic (if using). Peel the garlic and then put the cloves in a small pan and cover them with oil. (You can add a few aromatics like peppercorns or bay leaves for more flavour, if you like.)


Put the pan on a medium heat until the oil just begins to simmer, then reduce the heat as low as it can go (you want to poach the garlic, not simmer it) and cook for around 45 minutes, or until the garlic is soft but not completely falling apart.


Remove the garlic from the pan and leave to cool.


Add the aquafaba, vinegar and mustard to a blender. Blend for a minute until it thickens.


Slowly add the oil in a careful trickle. If you find that oil is building up above the mixture, then stop pouring and allow it to combine.


When you’re happy with the consistency, add the remaining ingredients (including the confit garlic), blitz to mix thoroughly and adjust seasoning to taste. The aioli is best after a day or two, as the garlic will infuse. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week.


For the burgers Start by simmering the butterbeans for 45 minutes, if you aren’t using tinned beans.


Whilst the beans are cooking, toast the cashews in a pan or oven. When golden, remove from the heat and set aside. Then, when cool, grind to a fine powder.


Fry the onion in oil and, when it’s starting to colour, add the leek and celery and a little salt. Cook until caramelised and then allow to cool.


Add the cooled and drained butterbeans, herbs, maple syrup, garlic, cashews and gram flour to a bowl with the cooled veg and work the mixture by hand. You want to combine the ingredients and partly mash the beans, leaving some fairly intact. If the mixture seems too wet then add more gram flour. This helps bind the mixture and gives the cooked burger a bit of bounce and body. Try a little of the mixture and season to taste.


When you’re happy with the seasoning and texture, chill the mixture and then form into patties approximately 1 inch thick.


To cook the burgers, fry in oil in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat for 5 minutes each side, or until golden brown.


To serve, add the sauerkraut to the bottom of the bun and place the burger on top. Add a couple of apple slices and top with a dollop of aioli.

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