Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nettle - Hogweed burgers

This time of the year nettles and hogweeds are abundant and most people want to get rid of them in their gardens. So harvesting these weeds should be easy enough. Wild greens are a great way to add new flavours, textures and also to enrich your meals with extra minerals. To make patties or burgers, you can just cook the nettles and hogweed leaves, finely cut or blend them, add the spices of your preference and bind the whole thing with flour. It’s that simple. As I try to avoid using wheat everywhere and in order to give the burgers an improved texture I choose to use other binding options such as chickpea flour, oat flakes and tapioca starch. 

Nettle leaves (only the tops of the plants)
Young hogweed leaves

Rinse thoroughly the harvested leaves, chop them and stir fry them with a bit of olive oil in a pan until soft. If needed, add a little water to help to get them soft. If the hogweeds leaves are already a bit older they might still remain a bit chewy. In that case, when ready, remove from the fire and bring the cooked leaves to a kitchen processor to blend them finely. 

For each 2 cups of cooked leaves, add:

4 tbsp of oat flakes
3 tbsp chickpea flour
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 ts caraway seeds 
1/2 ts ground fennel
1 1/2 ts herbs de Provence (I used a combination of savory, thyme, rosemary and marjoram), 
1 tbsp lemon juice
lemon zest and chilli pepper (optional) 
1 teaspoon seasalt (or to taste) 

The cooked leaves after being finely processed 

Bring all ingredients together and form patties/burgers. Depending on how moist your cooked leaves have after being cooked, you might need to add more or less oats or chickpea flour. Fry them in a shallow frying pan over medium-hot fire with a little coconut oil or olive oil. Bake both sides until golden and crunchy. Adjust the temperature of the fire accordingly (as every stove works differently), so as not to get the burgers dark too soon without cooking inside. Serve with chutney or mustard dill sauce. 

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