Jamie Oliver shares a mighty burger that’s packed high with vegetable goodness and delivers on mega-watt taste.
All of us are aware that we need to eat more veg, and of the extraordinary health benefits of doing so. But, in a busy fast-paced life where meat is so convenient and available on every corner, the question is – can veg dishes really cut the mustard? Can they be truly tasty and make you feel satisfied and happy? I believe that the answer is a gigantic: YES! So, with that in mind . . . welcome to the wonderful world of delicious food that just happens to be meat-free.
We humans are creatures of habit, and the concept of change, even positive, challenges all of us. Most of us buy the same foods week in, week out – sound familiar? So, embracing these recipes for what they are and opening your mind to trying new things by celebrating the huge bounty of veg, fruit, herbs, spices, pulses, nuts and seeds on offer, can only be a good thing. You can find so much exciting produce in standard supermarkets these days (let alone farmers’ markets and beyond), and if you shop smart and surf the seasons you should be quids in, so there’s really no excuse.
I want to show you just how tasty and comforting veg-based meals can be when given the respect and thought they deserve. And I also want to stamp out any pre-existing prejudices around food choices. Everyone’s welcome – especially your classic meat eater who might be stuck in a bit of a rut but knows that they could, and should, be welcoming more veg into their diet.
I designed these recipes to leave you feeling full, satisfied and happy – and not missing the meat from your plate.
I actually started writing this book, Veg, eight years ago – it’s been a real labour of love – but now is the time to publish it, accompanied by a beautiful new and exciting TV show. I’ve travelled halfway around the world to watch, listen and learn from some of the best veggie cooks on the planet, to really amplify flavour and scrumptiousness, and to give you beyond-tasty plates of food. Being able to finally publish the book is not only a real honour and a landmark moment for me, but also an indicator that the time is right and that veg-based cooking is becoming mainstream again.
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 fresh green chillies
- 1 big bunch of fresh coriander (60g)
- 75g paneer cheese 200g butternut squash 4cm piece of ginger 100g plain flour
- 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons rogan josh curry paste
- Olive oil
- 75g natural yoghurt
- 1 baby gem lettuce
- 4 soft burger buns
- 2 uncooked poppadoms Mango chutney
- Peel and very finely slice the onion and garlic, deseed and finely slice the chillies, finely chop the coriander stalks, reserving the leaves, then place in a bowl. Coarsely grate in the paneer and squash (deseed if needed), then peel and finely grate in the ginger. Sprinkle in the flour and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then squeeze over the lime juice. Add the curry paste and 50ml of water, then mix.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat, then roughly divide the mixture into 4 portions and place in the pan, flattening them out into rough rounds, about the width of the buns (don’t worry about wispy edges, it’ll mean bonus crunch later!). Fry for 16 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, turning every few minutes. Meanwhile, pound most of the coriander leaves to a paste in a pestle and mortar, muddle in the yoghurt, then season to taste. Finely shred the lettuce, halve the burger buns (warm first, if you like), and puff up the dry poppadoms in the microwave for 30 seconds each.
- Divide the coriander yoghurt between the bases and inside bun-lids, then break up the poppadoms and sprinkle over. Place a crispy bhaji burger on top of each bun-base, add a dollop of mango chutney, a few coriander leaves and the lettuce, then pop the tops on and press down lightly.
- Serve with a cold beer and extra fresh chilli if you love a bit of heat (like me!).