Since it has been snowing in Stockholm this week, I’ve not had the motivation to write this blog post or share this recipe. I cooked and photographed this recipe in the tool shed in our summer house last year and it reminds me so much of warm summer evenings by the lake. Writing about that whilst watching the snow outside my window - not the best combination.
Lately, I’ve started to notice what an impact the weather has on me. I thought I had handled this winter better than previous ones. That’s perhaps mostly because I’ve had a LOT of other things on my mind this past 6 months. I’ve been going through a really hard time with disease in the family and honestly, that’s all I’ve been thinking about. Now, everything looks way much better and slowly, I’m settling in to a more ”normal” life again.
So, after dealing with the dark, cold Swedish winter quite well, all of a sudden I started to feel a little bit under the weather. A couple of weeks ago it was like 20°C and it felt like summer. We had all our meals on the balcony and the sunny weather filled me with so much joy. Then the cold weather came back. It has been below 0°C and it has been snowing like it’s December and not May. The lack of sunshine has really got to me, I can feel the wind in my bones and watching the grey skies makes me sad. I don’t recall being so sensitive, but maybe I’ve just forgotten about it.
Right now I’m wearing one of my favorite knitted sweaters. I had put it away for storage because I thought the winter was over, but I had to bring it back. The wooden floors in our apartment are so cold and I have to wear knitted socks to not freeze my feet off. Maybe some summer food isn’t wrong after all. Maybe the memory of burgers in the warm summer night will make it all better. Thinking about that day when I cooked in the small cabin kitchen and photographed in the tool shed fills me with so much happiness and maybe that’s exactly what I need to cheer up in this weather.
To me, burgers are perfect for lazy days in the countryside. You can harvest lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber from the garden and you can use your harvested chili fruits to make pickled jalapeño rings (why not prepare them on a rainy day). You can also bake your own burger buns and store them in the freezer. Keeping things ready like this, your burger dinner requires almost no preparations at all and that’s just what we want during the summer, isn’t it? Great, healthy food that requires almost no preparations or cooking time. This recipe is really a favorite of mine - spicy, rich and creamy. It’s so good.
For this recipe I’ve used a soy based meat substitute called Oumph. If you don’t live in Sweden, I hope you can find a similar product. If not, you can always use portabello mushrooms.
Spicy burgers with hot salsa sauce and pickled jalapeños
280 g pulled Oumph
4 large lettuce leaves
Handful of pickled jalapeño rings (recipe below)
4 burger buns
Hot salsa sauce
1,5 dl (150 g) oat fraiche or soy yoghurt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of black pepper
1 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp sambal oelek
Heat up some coconut oil in a frying pan. Cook the Oumph for a few minutes over medium heat.
Prepare the salsa sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl.
Thinly slice tomatoes and cucumber.
Prepare the burgers by filling them with lettuce leaves, tomato slices, cucumber slices, Oumph and pickled jalapeño rings. Add a dollop of the salsa sauce and enjoy. If you want, you can serve your burgers with sweet potato fries on the side.
Pickled jalapeño rings
about 400 g jalapeños
2,5 dl apple cider vinegar
3 dl water
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp salt
Combine everything but the jalapeños in a sauce pan.
Thinly slice the chili fruits.
Bring the pickle to a boil and add the sliced chili fruit. Cover the sauce pan and let cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Move the chili fruit slices (save the vinegar mixture) to a jar and cover with the vinegar mixture. Cover the jar and store in the fridge.