Celeriac-Hazelnut Burgers


This afternoon at work, there was a lot of talk about mushroom burgers. Like, A LOT. To the point where when I left work, I was CRAVING a mushroom burger. I'd already planned out what I was gonna make, how I was gonna make it, and how heavenly it was gonna taste. Of course I mistakenly thought I still had mushrooms in the fridge. So imagine my dismay when I came home to find NO MUSHROOMS in there. Ugh.

OK. I still had burgers on my mind so I decided to work with whatever I had left in the fridge. Celeriac. This super ugly root vegetable is pretty new to my kitchen. I know. WHAT?! I've always liked the taste of celeriac when eating out, but just never realized what it looked like whole. I've seen it in markets and grocery stores before, but coz it looks so ugly and unappetizing, I just glossed over it and never really bothered. I brushed it off as some kind of deformed turnip. Hahaha. You have to admit that what you eat in restaurants - pureed, mashed, roasted celeriac - all look pretty different to what this super-ugly root looks like in its whole form. Talk about being judgmental with my veggies.

Celeriac is related to the celery family, and is also known as "celery root". It's a complex carbohydrate that has a surprising amount of protein in it too (fulfills 3% of protein requirements according to the US RDA value per 100gm of celeriac). It's a good source of fibre, vitamin K (helps blood clotting), vitamin C, and phosphorus. Plus, it's DELICIOUS! All hail the mighty ugly root.

Since it has a slightly nutty flavour, I decided to mix it with another delicious nut - hazelnuts - and it turned out to be an excellent celeriac-hazelnut burger. I divided the batch I made into two - to experiment with a regular version with spelt flour as a binder, and the other batch with chia-egg as a gluten-free version binder. Both worked well.

The front two cooked patties were with spelt flour, the uncooked patties at the back were with chia-egg substitute.

Side note: the only thing with using the chia-egg though - I find that whenever I use it as a binding agent, whatever I make with it is slightly floppy when it's still hot. When it's cooled down, that's when it really starts to stiffen up a bit more and actually bind together better. But I'm not sure if you really wanna eat cold burgers. Ha. So if your gluten-free burger version is a little bit runny when hot, keep this in mind. I prefer the texture of the one bound with spelt flour - it's just that little bit firmer and well... more burger-like. So if you don't necessarily have to go gluten-free, I'd go with the flour version. :)

Here's the recipe, if you experiment with it, I'd love to hear what you think of it. :)


Serves 2 people Ingredients: 1 cup chopped celeriac 1/2 cup hazelnut 1/2 cup onions 2 cloves garlic

1/4tsp ground coriander 1/4tsp turmeric powder 1/8tsp cinnamon Pinch of cayenne pepper 1/8tsp pepper 1/8tsp salt Handful fresh parsley 1/2 cup spelt flour or 4 chia-eggs for gluten-free version* 1tsp coconut oil

*Use 4 chia-eggs as a substitute for a gluten-free version. - 1 chia-egg is 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water. Mix together until a gooey, gelatinous mixture is formed. - 4 chia-eggs = 4 tablespoons chia seeds mixed with 12 tablespoons water.

Directions: 1. Put hazelnuts in a blender or food processor and grind them down. Leave some chunky bits in them. Transfer ground hazelnuts into a big mixing bowl and set aside for later.

2. Chop the celeriac, onions and garlic into chunks.

3. Put chopped celeriac, onions and garlic in the blender or food processor, along with the ground coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Pulse until everything is in finely ground bits. Add more seasonings to your taste. When finished, transfer this mixture to the same mixing bowl as the ground hazelnuts.

4. Put the fresh parsley in the blender or food processor, pulse until it's finely chopped. Transfer this to the same mixing bowl as the other ingredients.

5. Mix everything in the mixing bowl, then add the spelt flour to the mixture to bind everything together. Use your hands if needed. Or for a gluten-free version, use the 4 chia-eggs instead of the spelt flour as a substitute. If using chia-eggs, more seasoning may be required. The mixture should bind together well by now. Use more flour or chia-egg substitute if required.

6. Heat a non-stick frying pan on low-medium heat. When the pan has heated up, add the coconut oil.

7. Using both hands, take enough mixture to fit into the palm of your hand and shape it into a burger patty. This should be enough for 5-6 patties (I have small-ish girl hands!)

8. Pan-fry around 7-10 minutes on one side. Once the underside has browned, flip the burger over to cook on the other side, another 5 - 7 minutes.

9. Tadah! Enjoy.