Spiced chickpea and courgette burgers make for a very good vegetarian burger. I always keep chickpeas in the cupboard. They are very nice to add to a chicken curry. I sometimes use sweet potatoes instead of the carrots, and you get great flavour from the crunchy peanut butter and the curry paste.

Simply Better recently launched their Irish Angus Ultimate Steak burger. It is made from a variety of cuts, all good quality Irish beef, and I have been testing and tasting various combinations for the past year. A nice job and I think we got it right.

There are lots of delicious products to serve with your burgers. At home, I particularly like Wexford Preserves which are made by Tom and Laura Sinnott with their Irish-grown onions, tomatoes and chilis. A great family business with delicious products.


Spiced chickpea & courgette burgers. \ Photography: Philip Doyle. Food styling: Sharon Hearne-Smith

Spiced chickpea & courgette burgers

Serves four

One onion, finely chopped

2tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra for brushing

One garlic clove, crushed

Two medium courgettes, finely diced

225g (8oz) carrots, peeled and grated

400g (14oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

75g (3oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

2tsp mild curry paste or powder

2tbsp crunchy peanut butter

One medium egg yolk

3tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the onion for five minutes until softened and lightly browned.
  • 2 Increase the heat to high, then add the garlic, courgettes and carrots and sauté for another five minutes, until softened. Leave to cool.
  • 3 Blend the chickpeas in a food processor or blender until smooth (or you could finely chop by hand if you prefer).
  • 4 Put into a bowl and mix in the cooked vegetable mixture. Add the breadcrumbs, curry paste or powder, peanut butter, egg and parsley.
  • 5 Season with salt and pepper and then shape into four flat discs that are approximately 10cm.
  • 6 These can be put on a flat plate, covered with cling film and chilled for up to two days if necessary.
  • 7 When ready to cook, brush the outside of each burger with a little oil and barbecue or grill for six to seven minutes on each side, until heated through and lightly golden.
  • 8 Arrange on plates to serve.
  • Greek pitta beef burgers

    Serves four

    Four beef burgers

    Two white pitta breads

    175g (6oz) tub red pepper and feta dip

    100g (4oz) packet spinach, watercress and rocket salad

    Two ripe tomatoes, sliced

    175g (6oz) carton tzatziki

    Half a cucumber, cut into batons

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 Heat the barbecue or griddle pan and cook the burgers for four to five minutes on each side, until tender.
  • 2 Toast the pitta breads, then cut each one in half and open up to make a pocket. Add a good dollop of the spicy red pepper and feta dip and then fill with the salad. Add a burger to each one with the tomatoes and drizzle over the tzatziki.
  • 3 Serve with the cucumber batons.