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    Cranberry, wild rice & squash burgers

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    Cranberry, wild rice & squash burgers

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus chilling
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes, plus chilling

    Serves: 4


    1kg butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2-3cm cubes (about 750g prepared weight)
    4½ tbsp olive oil
    100g red camargue and wild rice mix (or 200g ready-cooked rice)
    1 bunch salad onions, trimmed and sliced
    3 rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    150g cranberries
    30g pumpkin seeds
    2 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
    ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, chopped
    200g woodland mushrooms, torn if large
    4 brioche buns, halved horizontally
    4 tbsp Waitrose fresh pesto
    60g watercress, rocket and spinach salad 


    1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C, gas mark 5. Toss the squash with 1½ tbsp oil on a large baking tray, season and roast for 45 minutes, until caramelised and tender. Roughly crush the squash on the baking tray with a fork. Meanwhile, cook the rice in salted boiling water, according to pack instructions, then drain well. 

    2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat and add the salad onions and rosemary with a pinch of salt. Soften, stirring, for 5 minutes, then add the vinegar, cranberries and pumpkin seeds and cook for 3-4 minutes more, until the cranberries start to burst and no liquid remains. Stir through the breadcrumbs, season, then tip into a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked rice, parsley and roasted squash, gently mixing to combine without crushing the cranberries too much. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape into large patties. Chill for 30 minutes to firm up. 

    3. Heat 1½ tbsp oil in a large, non-stick frying pan set over a medium-high heat. Fry the patties for about 4 minutes on each side, turning them carefully, until golden and piping hot, then remove and keep warm. Wipe out the frying pan and return to a high heat with the final ½ tbsp oil. Add the mushrooms, season and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned. 

    4. Lightly toast the brioche buns, cut-side up, under a hot grill. Spread the base of each bun with 1 tbsp pesto, then top with a burger, the mushrooms and some salad leaves, finishing each with a bun top. 

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