Some years ago, in 2007, the husband and I went to the world’s largest pumpkin exhibit. We happened to live around the corner and it was a lovely thing to do with the guests who were in town that September. The exhibit takes place every year at Barockschloss Blühendes Barock in Ludwigsburg in the South of Germany. It’s great fun, there is even one weekend during which people paddle over a little lake while sitting in gigantic pumpkins (that have been carved out inside, obviously).The theme differs yearly and the year we went the theme was Noah’s Ark. All of the castle’s gardens were covered with large figures and buildings made out of pumpkins, and there was a tent in which you could see (and buy) every type of pumpkin that exists in the world. They also had a restaurant set up where you could buy snacks of all kinds, all of them made of pumpkin. My husband and I ate a pumpkin burger. It was delicious. Like really really good. Sadly, I did not take a picture of it.
Soon after our guests left town, I googled pumpkin burger recipes. I found some, but none appealing. I then googled the caterer, a company from Switzerland. I wrote them a long email about how much I loved their pumpkin burger and would they perhaps maybe let me in on its preparation. They never replied. I gave up, and never actually tried making these.
Until last week. I bought a pumpkin, the Hokkaido kind, and got to work. The result was very close to what we ate at the pumpkin exhibit, but I think I may try making these with butternut next time. Its meat is much darker and maybe a bit more “meaty”, so I’m curious if they will be even more delicious!
Ingredients (for about 12 burgers):
1 pumpkin (about one kilo)
1 large pinch Fleur de Sel
1 large onion, cut into slices
3 medium carrots, grated
4 sundried tomatoes
50g parmesan cheese (omit if making a vegan version and add a bit of salt)
4 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp gluten-free oat (shredded coarsely)
3 tbsp gluten-free flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
1 tsp parsley
canola oil (for frying)
Wash the pumpkin, cut it in half and proceed to clean out the seeds. Rub pumpkins with Fleur de Sel and olive oil. Place pumpkin halves on a baking tin lined with parchment paper and add a bit of water into each of the halves. Place into the oven and bake at 200 °C for about twenty minutes until the pumpkin is cooked. Remove pumpkins from oven, and let cool.
Once the pumpkin has cooled, drain any remaining water, remove the skin from the pumpkin “meat” and place into a bowl. You should be able to mash the pumpkin up with your hands. If you want, leave some larger pieces for a bit of a in your patties.
Place the sundried tomatoes into a small bowl and cover entirely with boiling water. Let rest for ten minutes. Drain the water, and chop the tomatoes into small pieces. Add to the pumpkin puree.
In a pot, fry the onion slices and the grated carrots with a teaspoon of oil until both are soft. Add to the pumpkin puree, along with the grated parmesan cheese, the oat-flour, the baking powder and the tahini and mix well. Now, as for the gluten-free flour, you will have to add it whilst being careful. You may need more, you may need less. It’s there to help make the patty mix a bit dryer and easier to form and also to stay in shape whilst dressing it with the bread crumbs.
Spread a generous amount of gluten-free breadcrumbs onto a large plate. Form a patty out of the pumpkin puree and completely cover in breadcrumbs. Set aside on a second plate. Repeat until all the pumpkin puree has been used up.
You can eat these on their own, in the traditional burger way with a gluten-free bun or as garnish for a salad (featuring roasted pumpkin seed oil, what else?!). These freeze really well. After they were completely cooled off, I wrapped each of the patties individually in plastic foil or parchment paper and freeze them.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!