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Chickpea and Roasted Red Pepper Burgers with Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise

Even partisans of traditional burgers will be won over by these healthful vegetarian patties, and slathering them with a smoky mayonnaise makes them even more appealing. Set out paper-thin red onion slices for those who might want them, and garnish each plate with pickle slices or wedges.

Ingredients:

For the smoked paprika mayonnaise:

  • 5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./80 ml) mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  •  
  • 1 small red potato
  • Salt, to taste, plus 1/2 tsp.
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. seeded and minced jalapeño chili
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 can (15 oz./470 g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) chopped roasted red bell pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 5 Tbs. (1 oz./60 g) panko
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • Lettuce leaves for serving (optional)
  • 5 brioche buns, split

Directions:

To make the paprika mayonnaise, in a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, paprika and lemon juice. Season with salt. Set aside.

Put the potato in a small saucepan. Add water to cover by 1 inch (2.5 cm) and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potato is fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potato and let cool, then cut into small dice.

In a small fry pan over medium heat, warm the 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the garlic, jalapeño, cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring, just until the garlic begins to soften and the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas until finely chopped; do not puree. Transfer them to a large bowl and add the bell pepper, eggs, panko, parsley, potato and garlic mixture. Add the 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Using your hands, mix until well combined and then form into 5 patties.

Pour enough olive oil into a large fry pan to coat the bottom and heat over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until golden brown and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom half of each bun and top with a burger and a generous dollop of the mayonnaise. Serve immediately. Serves 5.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).