What’s your restaurant-going style?
Does the chef have to have a recognizable name? Is convenience your main priority? Are you all about what’s trendy? Do you choose places based on your eating ethos (nose-to-tail, vegetarian)?
I prefer a relaxed approach to food that’s inclusive of everyone – regardless of budget, diet and relative hipness, I think we all deserve a quality eating experience when we go out.
But when I look back on some of my favorite meals they have usually been simple backyard or picnic situations shared with favorite people in beautiful weather.
One experience that stands out as an exception (in that I was required to wear nice clothing and shoes) was at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Situated on a farm in the Hudson Valley of New York – not too far away from New York City – guests aren’t presented with a menu, but a long list of food harvested from the farm and market that day. Any of these ingredients could end up on your plate throughout the evening.
We did an 8-course tasting, which is now (2 years later) unfortunately a blur of bright flavors, beautiful ingredients, exciting textures and general stokedness. But one thing that I remember exactly is the (warning: wanker alert) amuse bouche – a one-bite burger made of fresh peas on a mini brioche bun. Not only was it adorable looking, it was also completely packed with sweet pea flavor.
I’ve always promised myself I would attempt a version of my own, and here I am…finally – with a normal-sized version for those who prefer multiple bites of something delicious.
Pea & Edamame Burgers with Sriracha
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 shallots, chopped
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 1 cup fresh peas blanched quickly in boiling water or frozen peas, thawed
– 1/2 cup shelled edamame, thawed
– 1 carrot, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
– 1 tablespoon sriracha, plus more for serving
– 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
– 1 egg
– salt & pepper
Heat olive oil in a medium pan over a medium- high heat. Saute shallots until softened and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat.
Place peas, edamame, shallots, garlic and carrot in a food processor and pulse until the peas and edamame are broken down but still retain a little bit of their shape. (A whole pea here or there is totally fine.)
In a large bowl, combine the pea mixture with the sriracha, bread crumbs and egg – stirring with a fork to combine all the ingredients well. Let the mixture stand in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (you can leave it for a few hours if needed.)
Heat oven to 190 C/375 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Form patties from the mixture with your hands. I used the buns I was serving them on as a sizing guide, making mine about 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. (English muffins make a great burger bun!)
Place patties on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, flip the patties and bake for another 10 minutes until golden on each side. Serve with more sriracha and herbed yogurt on buns.