Chickpea Veggie Burger with Fried Halloumi

I've still got a big grin on my face from our party this past weekend. My family went above and beyond, pulling out literally every stop to make our engagement celebration magical. Later on this week I'll be sharing some bits and pieces of the event, (including this popcorn bar that my sister put together, which I kind of wish could just be a permanent fixture in our life). 

So I should probably talk about this chickpea burger, and about how my relationship with halloumi is a serious one. The fact that you can fry a big slice of it, getting the edges all crispy browned and perfect without any melting is something to marvel at. When we got working on our chickpea burger, I think I was more excited about the cheese on top than the burger itself. If you've made chickpea burgers before, you may have had the mushy experience that we noticed that last couple times. My biggest complaint with veggie burgers in general is the inability for them to stay together once you start eating them, and we really wanted to avoid that. Leaving some of the chick peas whole makes for a sturdier sandwich, and also helps take the weight of the fried halloumi and kale topping.  

Chickpea Veggie Burger with Fried Halloumi
serves 2

2 whole wheat buns 
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained 
6 oz porchini mushrooms, diced 
1/2 red pepper, diced 
1/2 cup cut kale leaves (about 3 stems) 
2 thick slices halloumi cheese 
1 egg 
1/4 cup breadcrumbs 
1 1/2 tbs chickpea flour 
4 tsp olive oil, divided 
1 tsp cumin 
3 tsp garlic powder 
salt and pepper 

Divide garbanzo beans in half. Warm 1 tsp of olive oil over medium high heat in a small skillet. Add half garbanzo beans, 1 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper. Fry the garbanzos until golden brown and set aside. Clear the skillet, and cook mushrooms with 1 tsp olive oil until well browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 

In a food processor, pulse to combine remaining garbanzo beans and cooked mushrooms until a coarse mixture forms. Remove from food processor and mix in a small bowl with cooked garbanzo beans, red pepper, egg, breadcrumbs, chickpea flour, cumin, 2 tsp garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Fold to combine and form two large patties. 

Toss the cut kale with 1 tsp olive oil,salt and pepper, set aside to soften.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tsp olive oil until shimmering. Cook patties for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 3 on the other side, until a crust forms. Cover skillet, reduce heat and cook an additional 3 minutes. Set aside. 

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, warm 1 tsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the halloumi slices until golden brown on each side. To assemble sandwich, place chickpea patty on bun and top with halloumi and kale.