Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce that is very popular throughout South America. Whenever we had a barbeque growing up, we always had chimichurri on the table. We would always get the meat, sausages and chimichurri from an Argentinian butcher and it was to die for.
Nowadays, I always make it whenever we have a BBQ. It is always a hit. I like mine a bit more acidic than normal, so if you don’t, just add a bit more olive oil, or less lime juice. I usually make chimichurri to accompany meat; it is very nice to dip some crusty bread in it while the meat is cooking as well. But this time I wanted it on a veggie burger. I really like the combination of flavors with the sweet potato, feta and zucchini. The panko coating gives each burger a really nice crispy outside. This dish makes a very filling meatless Monday.
For the Burgers:
1 kilo of sweet potatoes
200gr feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup of pre-cooked cornmeal (I used PAN)
¼ cup of all-purpose flour
3 shallots, finely chopped
Panko breadcrumbs, enough to coat each burger
For the chimichurri:
2 cups of flat leaf parsley, firmly packed and without hard stems
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bird’s eye chili, chopped
1 tablespoons of dried oregano
½ cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon of salt
To make the chimichurri, just put all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it is very fine. Pour it into a small bowl and cover with plastic film. You can keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
To make the burgers, first roast the sweet potatoes whole in the oven at 180C/350F for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until very tender. Then peel and mash them.
Grate the zucchinis, discard of the core with the seeds. Then try to squeeze as much of the water out of it. Add the grated and squeezed zucchini to the bowl of the mashed sweet potatoes.
Sautee the shallots in a bit of olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add it to the zucchini and mashed sweet potatoes.
Crumble the feta into the burger mixture; add the eggs, cornmeal and flour. Add some pepper and a bit of salt. Don’t add too much salt, because the feta is already quite salty. Mix well.
Over medium heat, add some olive oil to a non-stick pan.
Put about 2 cups of panko on a flat plate, spoon some of burger mixture in the middle of the plate. You can use a measuring cup, an ice cream scoop or a regular spoon. Spoon some of the panko on top of the mixture and around the edges. Flatten it a bit to make it look like a burger. Then with the help of a spatula, lift the burger. Make sure it’s evenly coated in panko and pan-fry it. Let it turn golden before flipping it. You don’t want to touch it too much otherwise it will fall apart. Once both sides are golden, remove from the pan. Repeat for all of the mixture.
Serve with the chimichurri.