Jordan Bourke’s Beetroot Burgers with Wholegrain Mustard Mayonnaise

Before you go running for the hills at the mention of a veggie burger, at least taste this one before you make any judgments.

CAN YOU imagine that a book with recipes that don’t contain dairy, sugar or wheat, vaporised out of my ‘in tray’ in double quick time a few weeks ago and hasn’t been seen since?

Annoying as that may be, this is definitely a compliment to the authors of Guilt Free Gourmet and of course indicates a growing demand for ‘free from’ recipes — the biggest growth area in food.

I particularly wanted to browse through the book because it was written by a recent graduate of the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Jordan Bourke did a 12 Week Certificate Course with us here in April 2010.

He was ‘properly’ interested in food and flavour and super fresh produce. After the course he was snapped up by Skye Gyngell at the Michelin starred Petersham Nurseries in London.

Jordan is originally from Dublin but has lived in London for almost 10 years now, his passion for healthy food runs in the family.

His sister Jessica with whom he wrote this book is a much sought after nutritional therapist. Jordan cooks for private clients in London specialising in food for optimum health, weight loss and nutrition.

Their first book was written in response to countless pleas from clients, friends and family for the recipes for the indulgent yet guilt free food they tasted. Where have we heard that before – does it all sounds a bit too good to be true? Well, I have to tell you that Jordan and Jessica are the real deal and the book delivers what it ‘says on the tin’.

By the way, Jordan now also gives cookery classes in Clapham, London with Tara Wiggley, another Ballymaloe Cookery School graduate who worked at Moro with Sam and Sam Clarke. She currently works at Ottolenghi in London with Yotam and Sami, developing and testing recipes.

¦ Jordan and Tara’s next cookery class is on Friday, Dec 7, for details visit

¦ The Guilt Free Gourmet by Jordan and Jessica Bourke is published by Ryland, Peters & Small Ltd.

Jordan Bourke’s Beetroot Burgers with Wholegrain Mustard Mayonnaise

There is no question that reducing the amount of meat in your diet is not only good for your health but also for the planet. So before you go running for the hills at the mention of a veggie burger, at least taste this one before you make any judgments.

Makes about 10

Handful of fresh dill

Handful of fresh parsley

Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme

350g (12oz) beetroot, grated

150g (5oz) carrot, finely grated

120g (4¾ oz) oatmeal

3 eggs

1 small red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Wheat-free bread rolls


Cherry tomatoes, halved

Jordan’s Wholegrain Mustard Mayonnaise

300 ml good extra virgin olive oil

300ml (10fl oz) sunflower oil

2 egg yolks

1 tsp Dijon mustard

squeeze of lemon juice

3 tsp wholegrain mustard


½ small celeriac, cut into thin matchsticks

½ red cabbage, very thinly sliced

2 carrots, shredded

1 red onion, thinly sliced

Small handful of hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

3 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

2 eating apples

Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of ½

Finely chop the herbs. Thoroughly combine with the beetroot, carrot, oatmeal, eggs, onion and garlic in a bowl, making sure the eggs and herbs are evenly distributed. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grindings of pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes.

To make the wholegrain mustard mayonnaise, you can use a food processor or an electric whisk. Either way, combine the oils in a jug. Put the egg yolks, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in the food processor bowl or a mixing bowl.

As you start to process/whisk, very slowly feed in the oils a little at a time until the mixture begins to emulsify and come together. Once this happens you can add the oil a bit faster, but never be tempted to fire it all in otherwise the mayonnaise will split.

I always have a little cup of boiling water ready, as a few drops added in when it is looking like it might split usually brings it back together.

Once you have added all the oil, stir in the wholegrain mustard and refrigerate until needed.

To make the slaw, combine the celeriac, cabbage, carrots, onion, hazelnuts and most of the parsley in a bowl.

When you are ready to serve the slaw, cut the apple into thin half-moon slices, getting rid of the core, and mix. Add 3 tablespoons of the mustard mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon oil, the lemon zest and juice, ½ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper and mix well with your hands.

Taste and if necessary, add a little extra salt, olive oil or wholegrain mustard.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas 4.

To make the burgers, form about 10 patties with your hands. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over low heat and fry the burgers until just browned — 2–3 minutes on each side.

Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Toast the bread rolls, if you like. Cut them open and spread the mustard mayonnaise on the inside.

Add the rocket, some halved tomatoes, some slaw and a burger.

Jordan Bourke’s Chocolate Tart

Convincing people that food, especially desserts, made without sugar, wheat and dairy can actually taste good, let alone delicious, is an almost impossible task, which is why I adore this chocolate tart.

It will convert even the greatest cynics who protest that no dessert free of sugar, wheat and dairy could possibly taste as good as their more sinful cousins. After tasting this, I guarantee your family and friends will beg you for the recipe, as well as another slice.

Serves 10–12

Sea salt

100g (3½ oz) best-quality dark/bittersweet

chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids


10 pitted dates

150g (5oz) pecans, lightly roasted

125g (4oz) Scottish oat cakes

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 tbsp agave syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil

3 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder


3 avocados, not too firm

4 tbsp coconut oil

6 tbsp agave syrup

1 tbsp carob powder

5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 tbsp date syrup

20-cm/8-inch spring form pan, base lined with parchment paper

To make the base, blitz the dates in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients and a pinch of salt and blitz until everything comes together into a sticky ball.

Press into the baking pan so that you have an even and smooth base for the tart. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes until set.

To make the filling, cut the avocados in half, remove the stones and scoop the flesh into a food processor. Add ½ teaspoon salt, the remaining ingredients apart from the coconut oil, and blitz until smooth.

Melt the coconut oil in a pan over the lowest heat possible — this will only take a few moments. Turn on the food processor and pour the coconut oil into the mixture through the funnel. Once combined, pour the mixture onto the set tart base and smooth out the top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or if you want it to set quickly, freeze it.

When you are ready to serve, warm the chocolate to just above room temperature to make it easier to grate. I find leaving it beside the oven when you are cooking for about 10 minutes does the trick.

Pop the tart out of the baking pan and transfer to a plate. Liberally grate the chocolate over, so it piles up high. The tart should be served fridge-cold so that it stays reasonably firm. It keeps wonderfully well and can easily be made a day in advance.

Guilt-free because… Avocados are high in essential omega fats, which are food for the brain, nervous system, skin and hair. Contrary to popular belief, avocados do not make you fat. In fact, studies have shown that those who have high amounts of healthy fats like avocados (and indeed coconut oil) in their diet are more likely to be a healthy weight.

Hot tips

Gloucester OId Spot Pork: Two young lads aged 14 and 18 from Co Carlow bought their first pigs in 2008, they now have 40 — wouldn’t one of those make a super Christmas pressie? Tel: 059-9155058;

Rocket Fuel: I love the way so many people are dreaming up new food products to sell. Possibly the best place to find innovation is at Farmer’s Markets.

The Rocket Man, aka Jack Crotty, is now also doing a great granola and a drink labelled ‘Rocket Fuel’, a scary looking pink blueberry and ginger cordial that warms the cockles of your heart either hot or cold — it’s so good. Contact Jack Crotty: 086 822 9624;

Free Range Birds for Christmas:

Still time to order your free-range Goose or a beautiful Bronze Turkeys now from Dan and Ann Aherne, Ballysimon, Midleton, Co Cork, or Midleton Farmers Market very Saturday. Tel: 021-4631058/086-1659258. Festive Wine Course with Colm McCan and Peter Corr at Ballymaloe Cookery School on Thursday, December 13, from 2pm to 5.30pm; cost, €95; tel: 021-4646785 to book;

Darina’s Book of the Week

Ever wondered how some of the classic dishes got their name? Beef Wellington, Tarte Tatin, the Reuben sandwich — and what has meringue with ice-cream got to do with Alaska? Does chicken Kiev come from Kiev? Who was Arnold Bennet, creator of that wonderful smoked haddock omelette? Who invented Oysters Rockefeller, was it the president himself or was it created in his honour? Well, Who Put the Beef in Wellington, by James Winter has all the answers — published by Kyle Books.


Beauty experimentation has to start somewhere, and for many of us it’s with the same high street products and trendy looks.From the 70s to the 00s, these were the beauty products that defined your teenage years

Bestselling novelist Jojo Moyes talks about the books she grew up with, what she’s reading now, and the literature gaps she wants to fill.Jojo Moyes: My life in books

This week's food news with Joe McNammee.The Menu: Quick nibbles; International Women's Day; The People's Choice

With spring around the corner, it’s the perfect time to treat your home to a detox. Gabrielle Fagan taps up the Topology design gurus for tips.How to make your home calmer and less cluttered in 7 simple steps

More From The Irish Examiner