I recently had the pleasure of meeting with a brilliant local food producer, Jill, from Shetlandeli. I tried out a jar of their award winning Muckle Flugga Piccalilli (excellent name, Shetland’s Muckle Flugga is one of the most northerly points in Britain and home to its most northerly lighthouse)and it was delicious! Notice that I say was. It did not last very long in our house…
After slathering it on crackers, cheese, oatcakes, rye bread, and anything else close at hand, I was looking for other excuses to crack open the Piccalilli once again. That excuse came in the form of wheat berry and mushroom burgers.
A while ago I bought a bag of wheat berries and have been looking for a good recipe in which to use them. Adding them to burgers presented the perfect opportunity.
If you’ve been following my blog you’ve probably noticed that I love to cook with a variety of grains, one of my all time favourites being barley. Despite being a mad proponent of the consumption of grains it had, absurdly, never occurred to me that you could use wheat grains in any form but flour. Happily you can, and now that I know there’s no looking back!
Wheat is a lovely grain to use. It’s chewy, holds its shape, is loaded with fiber, protein and B vitamins, and its sweet, nutty flavour complements both sweet and savory dishes. I’ve made burgers a couple of times based on a really nice barley mushroom recipe from shape.com, so decided on an adaptation based on that. The results were really lovely. These wheat berry mushroom burgers have a firm, slightly crumbly texture and slight sweetness from the wheat, an earthy depth from the mushrooms, with the flavourful strength of sage. Served on some home made fresh whole wheat bun and set against the gorgeous tangy crunch of a good slathering of Muckle Flugga Piccalilli, they were heaven.
I’m pretty lucky to live in a place that has an abundance of amazing local food producers. It’s such a wonderful thing to have a chance to meet up with people who are passionate about good food, and who share that passion by producing beautiful food with love and care. I can’t wait to try out the rest of Shetlandeli’s range, and also to see what else is going on with local food at the upcoming Shetland Food Fair!
- 4 portobello mushrooms, stalks and fins removed, chopped
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 100g wheat berries, rinsed
- 280 mL vegetable stock
- 4-5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 50 g oats
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Over medium-high heat warm 1 tsp of the oil until hot. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and sautee until the mushrooms are golden, have shrunk substantially in size, and their water has evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium pot add the wheat berries and vegetable stock. Set the pot over medium heat and bring it to a good simmer. Leave, covered, to cook until the wheat berries are tender, about 30-45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl add the cooked mushrooms and wheat berries, and the sage. Blitz with a stick blender, or mash, until half of it is smooth and half is still lumpy (If you’d prefer a finer texture blend it until smooth and pasty.). Stir in the oats, tamari or soy sauce and the egg until well combined.
- Set a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat and heat the remaining oil. Form the mixture into patties, it will probably make about 8, and place them into the hot pan in batches of 3 or 4. Allow to cook about 5 minutes on the first side, until the underside is golden and firm and the top is feeling quite warm, and then flip and repeat on the other side. Keep them in a warm oven until all of the burgers are finished and then serve hot on whole wheat buns with some delicious garnishes.