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Seasons’ Eatings: Garbanzo Bean Burgers with Herb Garlic Sauce and Spanish Slaw

2012 May 3

By Stephanie Tickner

Sandwich, MA - April vacation – a perfect time for the kids and me to visit my mother on Cape Cod and also to bring RecipeRelay to a place where I don’t really know the local and organic food landscape. I grew up on Cape Cod, but my love of cooking with quality food has grown over the 20 plus years I have lived in New Hampshire. Relaying from the place of my childhood would take some research.

On the 3-hour drive to my mother’s house in Sandwich, I pondered what to make. There were many things I could imagine relaying from in Valeria’s beautiful Nettle Goat Cheese Tart. Like Valeria, I wanted a dish that felt like spring such as this recipe for garbanzo bean Lemon Herb Sliders I had read earlier. Adding bright green herbs and baby spinach, and topping the burgers with spring greens seemed just right. I prefer baked veggie burgers so I relayed off Valeria’s baking method. I also wanted good cheese to top the burgers like she used on her tart. Finally, like Valeria, I even did a little foraging after my mother mentioned that somewhere in her back yard, among the invasive grape vines, there were some chives. It took some work to find them, but they were there. My mother said, “You can’t get much more local than that!”

CLICK HERE to get the full recipe!

The rest of the food gathering took a little more effort. Part of the problem was the time of year. The nearby Sandwich Farmers Market and the Waquoit Farmers Market were finishing out the winter season and did not yet have the fresh greens and herbs I was seeking. Searching online I discovered Windfall Market in Falmouth where I grew up. It is a small grocery store in the old A&P Market building by the harbor. There we found organic eggs from Cape Cod Organic Farm in Barnstable, and environmentally friendly tomatoes from Concord Nurseries just off the Cape in Rochester (when I called to ask what “environmentally friendly” meant, a helpful woman explained they garden organically but do not yet have the official certification). I also bought Portuguese rolls fresh from the store’s bakery. My stepfather was Portuguese, and summer cookouts were not complete without grilled linguica sausage on Portuguese rolls.

I didn’t see Cape Cod made cheese, but I was excited to find organic farmstead garlic cheddar from Neighborly Farms in Randolph Center, VT. Vermont is not exactly local to the Cape, but this organic cheese made with vegetable rennet was perfect for the vegetarians in our family!

I bought everything else at Stop & Shop supermarket in Sandwich. There were no local vegetables or herbs, but about half were organic. I also discovered another vegetable rennet Gouda cheese from Narragansett Creamery in nearby Providence, RI.

My 12 year old niece, Olivia, came to Sandwich the day I made the burgers. She loves to cook and take photos, and we had a great time working together, with my two children stopping in periodically to help. We learned it can be hard to cook in someone else’s kitchen – when you can’t find the food processor and the blender blends too well, you get “green monster” burgers!

Inspired by Allison Gooding’s Creamy Herb Garlic Sauce we made a yogurt based sauce to top the patties. We also made a side of what I call “Spanish Slaw”, a dish my host mother frequently made on my college semester abroad in Seville, Spain. It is the only coleslaw I like and seemed perfect to go with our spring meal.

Garbanzo Bean Burgers with Herb Garlic Sauce and Spanish Slaw

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 85 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 8 cloves of garlic, chopped and divided
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh or dry dill leaves, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 2 cups green cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cups purple cabbage, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup chives and/or green onions
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • artisan cheese of choice, sliced
  • selection of leafy spring greens
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 6 burger rolls
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. At least one hour before serving the meal, prepare the herb garlic sauce. In a small bowl mix together yogurt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove chopped garlic, basil, dill, juice of ½ a lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend.
  2. Once the sauce is made, prepare the Spanish Slaw. In a large bowl stir together cabbages, vinegar, and a generous amount of freshly ground salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  3. Pour ¼ cup olive oil into a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add six cloves chopped garlic. Stir constantly so the garlic does not burn. Remove pan from heat as soon as garlic is softened, trying not to let it get brown and crunchy, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Pour warm oil and garlic into cabbage bowl and mix well. Spanish Slaw tastes best at room temperature.
  5. Next, make the garbanzo bean burgers. Add 1 clove garlic, chives and/or green onions, cilantro, and spinach to bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well chopped. Add the garbanzo beans and pulse briefly, leaving some chunks for texture.
  6. Scrape mixture into a large bowl. Add sunflower seeds, egg, and juice of ½ a lemon and stir until well blended. Slowly stir in bread crumbs just until the mixture is not too sticky to be shaped into patties. You may not need the whole cup or you may need a bit more.
  7. With your hands, shape six patties about the same size as the burger buns. Place patties on a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with olive oil. Then, lightly spray the tops of the patties with olive oil.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the burgers for 15- 20 minutes, until the bottoms are browned. Carefully flip the burgers and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes until the other sides are browned.
  9. Slice buns if necessary and toast in the oven or toaster.
  10. Please toasted buns on plates then top with burgers, cheese, tomatoes slices, spring greens and a generous serving of herb garlic sauce. Add Spanish Slaw to each plate and serve!

Note: The garbanzo bean burgers they may be kept in the refrigerator for about a week, and they also freeze well. The herb garlic sauce keeps for about a week in the refrigerator. If you have leftover Spanish Slaw, it is best to bring it to room temperature and stir well before eating so that the olive oil returns to a liquid state.

Stephanie Tickner lives with her family and two dogs in rural Marlow, NH. She loves returning to Cape Cod where she grew up, spending time walking the rocky beaches, watching the harbor seals sun on the rocks, driving her old favorite routes along the water and eating delicious meals with her extended family.