Today, I was chatting to my friend Priya about some bean burgers she made with her toddler yesterday. Priya is a dietitian, and everything I’ve tasted that she’d made has been delicious, and healthy (well, would you expect anything less from a dietitian?). She mentioned that they were really easy to whip up, and that left me feeling a bit inspired. So, this afternoon, after the school run, I had a rootle around in my kitchen cupboards and came up with my own version, using cannellini beans and tuna – well, it is Friday, afterall.
Ladies and Gents, open your mind to tuna and cannellini bean burgers. Just like my fishcakes, but using beans instead of mash – these cut out at least half the prep time, a lot of the washing up, and are just as scrummy. Win win all round, I’d say.
Here is how to make these beany delights:
- 1 400g tin of cannellini beans in water
- 1 200g tin of tuna.
- 1 tbs sunflower oil (or any flavourless oil)
- 1 courgette (zucchini), grated
- 1 spring onion (scallion), chopped.
- 1 egg, beaten.
- half a teaspoon of paprika
- a good pinch of salt and pepper
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 1 tbs polenta (optional, but it adds a lovely crunch to the coating)
- Firstly, drain your cannellini beans and pour into a large bowl. Take a potato masher and roughly mash the beans until you get a rough paste. It doesn't have to be smooth, in fact, the more rustic, the better. Open your tin of tuna, drain, but reserve a little of the oil, and add to the bean mash. If your tuna did not come in oil, add a little oil now - about a tablespoon should do it. Mix around.
- At this point, add the grated courgette, the chopped spring onion and the egg. Give it another mix. The egg will bind the mixture together a little, making it easier to shape into a patty shape.
- The last things to add are the half teaspoon of paprika, and the salt and pepper. Mix one last time, nice and thoroughly and put to one side.
- Next, you need to make your coating. Don't bother buying breadcrumbs, it's a waste of money. Instead, blitz a few slices of bread (day old bread makes the best crumbs) in a food processor or a blender, and tip into a shallow bowl. If you are using dried polenta or semolina, add a tablespoon to the breadcrumbs.
- Carefully, take a handful of the tuna bean mix and mould it into a ball, then pat gently to flatten it into a patty shape. Pop it in the breadcrumbs and gently give it all a little shake from side to side. Using a fork, flip the half-coated tuna patty over to cover the other side, remove from the breadcrumbs and place on a foil-covered baking tray, ready for the oven.
- Cook the tuna and bean burgers in the oven at 180°C for approximately 20 minutes, or until the coating is golden, flipping over halfway through cooking.
I served these for my kids with boiled new potatoes, green beans, and a wedge of lemon for squeezing, and they both hoovered them up in next to no time. If that isn’t a compliment, then I don’t know what is.