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chickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers w/ vegan cashew lemon mayo

chickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers // the first messchickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burger ingredients // the first messdrying chickpeas // the first messchickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers // the first mess
My little neighbourhood is small and chatty. I was pulling out dandelions in my front yard when an older man that lives a few houses down came right over in his bare feet and joked that I was wasting my time before he introduced himself. It is pretty hard to keep up with those little suckers, but! John reminded me that they are edible, because he’s seen some of the “little old Italian ladies” cooking them up with garlic and whatnot. “What do they call it again…?” he asked. “Cicoria!” I said, recalling the waxed boxes of bitter greens that sometimes popped up at my dad’s store

So I finished up the little weeding session and poured myself an ice cold glass of water with a squeeze of lime, perched at my living room window for a minute. And what did I see next? John was digging the dandelions out of his front yard too. Didn’t he just say I was wasting my time?

I think makin’ it better is almost always contagious if approached with warmth and casual grace. Whether it’s the front lawn, the state of your home in general, the everyday food and drink choices, considerations of the whole world when you buy shampoo. That’s why people love healthy living-focused Instagram accounts, DIY blogs, them Oprah quote-graced cup sleeves at Starbucks, and the natural beauty products section of any given Target store.

It’s those shiny bits of the everyday that make some of the more elusive, heavy-with-life things seem within reach. Will those tiny actions stop the west Antarctic ice sheet from collapsing? Well no, and I don’t think I’ll be bringing that topic up with the neighbours anytime soon either. They always tell you to think big when you’re coming up, but focusing small has shown plenty of merit in my time here.

So as usual, plant-heavy meal preparation is the small focus strategy that reigns supreme. It keeps us feeling stronger in our immediate space, with a simultaneous awareness of how that choice can make an impact out there. Small and mighty. Except this burger is kinda huge. We enjoyed these one night with big piles of greens, and then I scarfed one in the more traditional way on some sourdough bread for breakfast the next morning. I had been thinking about Old Bay as the dominant flavour in a veggie burger. It’s generally more of a seafood kind of spice, but I knew that it would mingle nicely with a chickpea-based patty and a creamy, lemony mayo-like accompaniment. I was rather satisfied with how these came together. They punch all of the flavour and texture buttons for me, especially with a few slices of avocado in the mix. Maybe my neighbours will start asking for veggie burger recipes soon?

mix // the first messchickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers // the first messchickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers // the first messchickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers // the first mess
chickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers w/ cashew lemon mayo
serves: 4
notes: If you don’t vibe to oats/can’t be bothered making oat flour, feel free to use all chickpea flour for the total amount (1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons). I just did a mix because I was finding the chickpea flavour a bit strong. Also, I just make chickpea flour by grinding dry/non-cooked chickpeas in my blender. I feel like this could be possible in a food processor or coffee grinder as well. If you don’t have Old Bay in your nook of the world, you can make it yourself (link)!

burger mix ingredients:
2 cups cauliflower florets
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and rough chopped
1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
salt + pepper (be mindful that Old Bay has hella salt already)
1/4 cup chickpea flour
3 tbsp oat flour
1/3 cup chopped chives

cashew lemon mayo ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
1 tbsp lemon juice
splash of white wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp-1/3 cup filtered water
salt to taste

assembly etc.!
buns, bread, boston/butter lettuce wraps, whatever you’re feeling
oil for sautéeing the burgers
avocado slices
red onion slices

Set a large pot with an inch or two of water over medium heat. Place the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket. Once the water in the pot is simmering, place the steamer basket in and put a lid on top. Steam the cauliflower until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the cauliflower and run some cold water over it to prevent further cooking. Towel the florets lightly and then place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.

To the food processor, add the chickpeas, garlic, Old Bay seasoning, olive oil, lemon juice, salt + pepper. Pulse the mixture until you have a meal that clumps together when you squeeze it. You should still see little bits of chickpeas. Dump the chickpea and cauliflower mixture into a large bowl and stir in the flours and chopped chives until your mix is fully combined and the flour is absorbed. Taste the mixture for seasoning (hooray for no raw egg scares!) and adjust accordingly.

Divide the mix into 4 equal portions and form patties with your hands. Place the patties on a plate and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let these set up in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Make the cashew lemon mayo. In a blender pitcher, combine the cashews, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water to start. Blend the mixture on high, adding more water and scraping the sides as necessary. Keep going until you have a creamy/smooth mayo-like consistency. Scrape the mayo into a container, cover, and place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Heat a good slick  of oil in a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Place the burgers in the pan, maybe two at a time maximum. Fry until one side is golden and then gently flip them over. Keep moving them around the pan to acvhieve maximal browning on the sides. Remove from the pan when the other side is golden. Keep warm on a parchment lined baking sheet in a low oven. Repeat with remaining burgers. Serve hot with lettuce wraps/buns, cashew lemon mayo, avocado, red onion etc.!

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Rosie @The Porridge Pot15/05/2014 - 5:43 am

I love old neighbors sharing their wisdom!

Lauren15/05/2014 - 5:48 am

these burgers look so yummy, i will definitely be making these !
Lauren x

Deena kakaya15/05/2014 - 5:56 am

Whenever I think of making bean or pulse burgers I always wonder if they will feel too dense. Your recipe looks light and crisp and your pictures are beautiful. X

Jo from yummyvege15/05/2014 - 6:41 am

These look great and I’ll definitely be trying the cashew mayo as I don’t like soya mayo.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar15/05/2014 - 7:35 am

This sounds so yummy!! Love that burger recipe – it looks so easy!

lynsey //lynseylovesfood15/05/2014 - 7:46 am

I love this story and I love the sounds of this burger. Makin’ it better! xo

Anne @AVeganAdventure15/05/2014 - 8:27 am

Old Bay seasoning is a great idea! The burgers look delish!

I love trying new veggie burger recipes! Pinning this to make it later. :)

Kate15/05/2014 - 9:02 am

Amen, Laura. I’d rather focus on small, tangible, good-for-us pleasures like cauliflower veggie burgers than the inevitable collapse of the ice sheet (yikes!). These burgers sound fantastic.

Lisa @ Simple Pairings15/05/2014 - 9:07 am

This looks like such a flavorful veggie burger, especially with that cashew lemon mayo. I think this is something that would be even better than a standard burger – more complex and dynamic! Pinned.

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth15/05/2014 - 9:50 am

These sound fantastic. I love the punch you give it with the Old Bay spice!

Mila15/05/2014 - 2:47 pm

Great recipe and beautiful pics as usual!

Grace15/05/2014 - 4:27 pm

Beautiful outlook on life and a beautiful burger to go with it!

Tieghan15/05/2014 - 11:04 pm

These look so amazing. Love that cashew mayo!

links for you | jenneng16/05/2014 - 8:53 am

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Ellen16/05/2014 - 10:04 am

Love your recipes and photography! I’m wondering what kind of blender is shown there and how long does the mayo last?

Laura Wright16/05/2014 - 12:59 pm

Hi Ellen! Thanks for your comments. The blender is a 5+ year old Vitamix, which I will add has been worth the investment and then some for myself. And the mayo should be good in the fridge for 5 days if you cover it up. I would recommend a little stir each time you get it out. Side bar: this mayo is really delicious with sweet potato fries if you want to use some up :)

Ellen @ The Perennial Style16/05/2014 - 5:06 pm

Yum! This looks delicious – Cannot wait to try it!

abby - little city adventures16/05/2014 - 5:48 pm

Well this looks amazing! Wish I had seen this recipe before I did my grocery shopping!

Brian @ A Thought For Food17/05/2014 - 8:45 am

So… yeah, I’ve been thinking about these burgers all week. Thank you for that. Seriously, thank you. :-) I think they’re going to have to happen over Memorial Day, since everyone will be eating and dogs and I’ll just be left with pasta salad.

Aren’t neighbors the best? We actually talk to ours now (unlike the meatheads who we lived next to in our apartment). It’s pretty wonderful.

Valerie17/05/2014 - 9:43 am

These absolutely look amazing! I’m definitely giving these a try!

Suzanne17/05/2014 - 11:15 am

Wow, this looks amazing! Did you include a link to the Old Bay recipe? If so, I’m not finding it/able to click on it. Thanks!!

Suzanne17/05/2014 - 11:17 am

gahh! of course, the link worked AFTER my last comment. :) Sorry! and thanks so much for sharing!

Heather | Heather Christo17/05/2014 - 8:11 pm

I love the flavors in this recipe! Your pictures are making my mouth water! Pinned

Kahlin18/05/2014 - 12:58 am

You’re not alone in the weeding. My brother forages dandelions to make dandelion honey (syrup). I’m not too fussed on it but he really likes it. Maybe worth exploring?

[…] Chickpea, Cauliflower, and Old Bay Veggie Burgers with Lemon Mayo. (♥) […]

Colleen18/05/2014 - 6:21 pm

I love the sound of this burger, but like with most veggie burgers, instructions are to saute. I am curious if you would recommend baking this veggie burger as an alternative way to cook it? Or have a suggestion for a baked veggie burger recipe…?

ATasteOfMadness18/05/2014 - 11:14 pm

I seriously JUST ate dinner, and this made my stomach rumble. I have recently become OBSESSED with chickpeas, so this came at the perfect time.

Amy19/05/2014 - 1:23 pm

Anything made with Old Bay is worth trying in my book!

michelle19/05/2014 - 1:47 pm

can i use reg. flour in place of the oat and chickpea flour?

Laura Wright19/05/2014 - 2:28 pm

Hi Colleen, I’ve never baked a veggie burger patty in my life! But I’ll try to help. I think if you bake them on a rack set into a cookie sheet, it would be do-able. Maybe set the oven to 375 degrees F and brush a bit of oil on the tops of the patties before putting them in. I’m guessing these would take 25 minutes or so with a little flip halfway through. If you try it, let me know any feedback. Curious!

Laura Wright19/05/2014 - 2:29 pm

Hi Michelle, I think regular, all purpose flour would be fine. You might even be able to get away with using less of it too.

[…] chickpea old bay veggies burgers. um… […]

elizabeth19/05/2014 - 4:01 pm

If my neighbors asked for a veggie burger recipe, I think I’d faint. But then any little thing can happen. These burgers look delicious. I love the idea of wrapping them up in big lettuce leaves.

[…] chickpea, cauliflower + Old Bay veggie burgers w/ vegan cashew lemon mayo […]

abigail20/05/2014 - 8:23 am

o.m.g i’m making these tonight

Adrienne23/05/2014 - 11:53 am

Yes!!! You read my mind lady. I’ve been wanting a new bean burger recipe to try. Thank you!

katie24/05/2014 - 2:27 pm

I just want to thank you for this recipe. My 18 month old son has been diagnosed with many allergies and cant’ eat a whole lot on his elimination diet. I made these into “nugets” and he can not get enough! He just keeps saying “more, more”. We’re enjoying them too.

links for you | My Blog26/05/2014 - 7:10 pm

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Kasey28/05/2014 - 1:12 am

Can I come live with you? Because your little neighborhood (John, included) sounds dreamy. Beautiful storytelling (as always) lady. xo

Jordan @ The Blonde Vegan01/06/2014 - 12:28 pm

YUM… these look ridiculously amazing. And your food photography is seriously impressive. I am so glad that I stumbled across your blog today. You most definitely have a new reader!! I think I am even going to add you directly to my blog roll– I am so impressed!! Xox

Allison02/06/2014 - 9:57 am

What a fantastic recipe! And the neighbour story is so cute! I need to locate some old bay seasoning immediately. I’m a newbie to your blog and am loving it! Gorgeous photos, recipes, and stories. :)

Elena02/06/2014 - 4:50 pm

I love this post. We pull out our dandelions too. But, our neighbor story isn’t as great, once our neighbors took it upon themselves to spread fertilizer/weed killer on our lawn, thinking they were doing us a favor. Super. Awkward. And very upsetting! Saving the world, one dandelion at a time. - 8:35 pm

Hi Laura, I found your blog on Saveurs and what a lovely surprise. I started following you on pinterest and facebook. I can not wait for the next recipes!

Isadora @ she likes food03/06/2014 - 2:18 pm

I LOVE your cashew mayo!! I always use veganaise, but I much prefer the idea of making some myself! I am definitely going to be making it this weekend. I’ve also been on the hunt for a good veggie burger recipe and this one looks great!

Kristen06/06/2014 - 10:30 am

These patties on a bed of sturdy greens seem like an excellent airport/travel meal. :)

The Knotty Dog Walker20/06/2014 - 10:07 am

Going to try these on the grill this weekend! Yummy and healthy :)

[…] 2. Chickpea, Cauliflower + Old Bay Veggie Burgers With Cashew Lemon Mayo from The First Mess […]

sil @ entre jardins03/07/2014 - 10:48 am

Hi Laura, just wanted to thank you for this recipe, we made these burgers, with a couple of modifications, for lunch and they were delicious! I also used whole rolled oats and a bit of almond meal for crunch. Also, we thought dividing the dough in 4 made extremely large patties, so we opted for 6. Cheers *silvia

Claire19/07/2014 - 6:36 pm

Hi, Laura! I am interested if you have ever tried substituting the cauliflower for another vegetable… broccoli, spinach, etc. I impulsively get the LARGE bags of broccoli at Costco every time (once a week!) and so am always looking for ways to use it up!!! Also, cauliflower never seems to make it past the hummus platter in our house ;) Thanks!

Claire19/07/2014 - 6:42 pm

P.S. – Or how about mashed potato?

Laura Wright21/07/2014 - 2:20 pm

Hey Claire, I think between broccoli or mashed potato, the potato would fare better in this recipe. The broccoli kinda lacks the creamy-ness that really helps with this recipe. Of course, you can always try it and report back! ;)

[…] Veggie Patties with Vegan Cashew Lemon Spread. I made some personalizations to the original recipe by adding cayenne and turmeric for added flavor and a healthful […]

Valeria15/09/2014 - 8:17 am

I miss having neighbour exchanges like these sometimes, it was definitely easier to do in the small Italian town I grew up in rather than here in London! Anyhow, I at least have someone in the house with whom I share wisdom and meals, and these burgers look like they would make for the most amazing meal, and somehow I feel they need to be shared. Thanks for posting always such genius recipes! x

mango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds

mango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds // the first messmango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds // the first messrhubarb // the first messmangoes // the first mess
It is surprisingly hard to make a house feel like a home. I’ve been cooking more and actually using our kitchen, which has been helpful. We inadvertently had our first dinner guest last weekend–a friend of both of ours that I ran into while frantically trying to make it into a Starbucks for the last 10 minutes of Frappuccino happy hour (TM) (I know, I’m bad to the bone). We had plans for curry and there was a fresh case of beer in the fridge, so it was one of those last minute “Why not?” kind of things that feels easy to say yes to in the waning hours of a sunny weekend afternoon. I think setting a pace and mindset to have our people over for meals more often is what’s going to tip this living situation into certified home-dwelling territory.

So with that, my family’s coming by this weekend for a little dinner. I’m excited to make them a bunch of things I know they’ll love. There’ll be chocolate cream pie, some kind of panzanella, lots of vegetables, salt and vinegar grilled potatoes–all the good things really. My mum is here all the time helping me with any given project, so it’ll be nice to see her just sitting and relaxing at my table with a plate of food for once–and most especially on that pie. For a Mother’s Day thing, it’s great in the obvious ways, but I want to be doing this sort of gathering ’round more often. I’ve wrote here about how tough and motivated my mum is before, but in this noticeably busier season of life, her strength and inner drive has been particularly inspiring. Where I tend to get overwhelmed and start wondering what the point of it all really is, she pushes on, reminding me of the good graces in our day-to-day all the while.

So yeah! Looking forward to that lovely meal with my fingers crossed that the sun will shine. I’ve been craving fruit and having it with almost every meal lately. Maybe it’s those warmer temperatures? So this salad sprang to my mind. One of the better crumbles I’ve ever made featured a combination of rhubarb and mango (with coconut in the topping). It was great because the mango is a natural sweet answer to the sour, but it also has a fragrant, nectarous vibe that meshes seamlessly with rhubarb. So I was thinking of that and some other flavours I like with rhubarb–lime, ginger, almond etc–and thought that a mango salad with all of that going on might be just right. A few slices of kale, radish, mint and chives (from a newly transplanted beauty of a plant in my backyard, weee!) push this salad a little bit more into savoury land. Anyway, hoping this bowl full will make you think twice on that old strawberry and rhubarb routine :)

mango // the first messchives, rhubarb ginger dressing, mango peels // the first messat home // the first messmango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds // the first mess
mango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds
serves: 4-6
notes: I know mango salads typically call for more of the greener/less ripe fruits, but I find sweetness is preferable on this one because of the sour dressing. So having said that, be careful cutting those slippery, somewhat ripe mangoes :)

rhubarb ginger dressing:
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup chopped rhubarb, pink parts only
1/2 inch of fresh ginger, peeled + chopped
juice of 1 lime (+ a tiny bit of the zest/peel)
1-2 tsp maple syrup/agave nectar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt + pepper

chili almonds:
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 tsp chili powder (chipotle, ancho, whatever you’re into)

salad ingredients:
4 just-ripe mangos, peeled (I used ataulfo/champagne mangos)
5-6 leaves of kale, shredded/finely sliced
handful of chives, sliced
handful of mint leaves, sliced
1 large or 3 small radishes, thinly sliced

Heat the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the rhubarb to the pan and toss it around a bit. Slowly sauté the rhubarb until it’s quite soft and cooked through. Transfer to a blender pitcher. Throw the ginger, lime juice/zest, maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper into the blender as well. Blend the mixture until you have a smooth, thick dressing. Taste it and check for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and set aside.

Toast the almonds in a dry pan over medium heat. Once they have a bit of colour and aroma happening, quickly dump them onto a cutting board and chop them up while they’re still warm. Once chopped, quickly toss them with the chili powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Cut the mangos away from their pits and then proceed to slice them/cut the edible fruit into matchsticks. Toss the cut mango into a large bowl. To the bowl, also add the a sliced kale, chives, mint and sliced radishes. Pour the rhubarb ginger dressing over top and toss it all together. Garnish the salad with the chili almonds and serve.

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Giada08/05/2014 - 4:50 am

This really calls my name! I love mango and I’m all about fruit lately so I’ll give it a try for sure, thanks for sharing! Also, good luck with your family dinner!

Katie @ Whole Nourishment08/05/2014 - 5:40 am

This rhubarb-ginger dressing is a fantastic idea, and I can picture how the mango, chili almond, and rhubarb flavors come together in this salad. Agreed, having friends and family over for dinners makes the house feel more like a loved and lived-in home.

Elizabetheats08/05/2014 - 7:36 am

woah. buying mangos asap!!

Emi Kirschner08/05/2014 - 8:28 am

Wow! This looks just amazing. I can taste it already. Your recipes are wonderfully inspiring.

Sini | my blue&white kitchen08/05/2014 - 8:38 am

It really is a challenge to make a house or an apartment feel like home but like you, I think the answer really is through making food and having friends and family gathering for dinner. Maybe it’s really about filling the home with memories. With moments. Moments of joy and happiness, laughter.

This mango salad is stunning! Never would I have come up with an idea like this myself but, as I imagine the flavors in my head, they make a wonderful, harmonious flavor combination. As soon as I stumble upon perfectly ripe mangos (not always that easy here in Finland), I’ll remember this recipe, whip up a salad, and create lovely memories.

Lauren S08/05/2014 - 8:52 am

this sounds deliciously gorgeous ! will be giving this a try out. love healthy recipes, i have a few on my blog too :)
Lauren x

The naked fig08/05/2014 - 8:59 am

This looks so delicious. Never would have thought to combine mango and rhubarb but I bet they’re perfect together!

Olivia | Olive Oil Sweet Pea08/05/2014 - 9:00 am

This looks like an amazing meal! Loving the way your use rhubarb in the dressing, such a thoughtful recipe! Thanks for keeping the inspiration coming, always a treat to see what you are throwing together.

molly yeh08/05/2014 - 9:01 am

i love how colorful your food always is!!!! and a dinner party with panzanella?! can i come? pleeeeeeze?

Ashley08/05/2014 - 9:12 am

Completely + 100% can relate about “a house becoming a home.” It really didn’t happen for us until we finally had furniture on our main floor. It’s the first time we’ve really gotten furniture that we LOVE and feels like US and it was so worth it. I would say it feels like 85% a home. I think organization is a big key to it as well. My office feels sort of haphazard still with not the best storage/filing system and a giant dog cage. Also, hanging things on the walls! We have yet to do this, I think because like the furniture we want it to be more thought out this time around. Anyway, it’s more than good enough for now and feels all cozy and cute and we love it. Two more things: I want to come hang out with you + your mom. And, rhubarb + mango!!!! Brilliant! xo

lynsey08/05/2014 - 9:13 am

I must have channeled you this week as I was feeling the rhubarb/ginger thing but only in scone form with a hint of orange and lots of oats. Agree with Molly… the colours are amazing. xo

Erika08/05/2014 - 9:21 am

This is just so lovely.. I am in love with that rhubarb ginger dressing:.

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth08/05/2014 - 9:34 am

I think the combination of mango, ginger, coconut and rhubarb sounds amazing. Very creative! Can’t wait to give it a try.

Molly O08/05/2014 - 12:14 pm

Wondering if the dressing would work with green rhubarb? It’s all I have at the moment but the flavor combo sounds really intriguing.

Mila08/05/2014 - 12:42 pm

Wow what an awesome combo! I’ve been looking for new ways to use rhubarb- thanks!

Hannah08/05/2014 - 1:15 pm

Mmmm I cannot wait to make this. I’m totally obsessed mango at the moment and in love with ottolenghis (one with red rice, coconut, herbs and peanuts and delicious). Can’t wait to try this, what did you serve it with?

Hope you enjoy some lovely time with your mum, Mother’s Day was in March in the uk and I went to Amsterdam with her for a weekend away and was reminded how much I value her and her steady prescience in times of turmoil.

Rosie @The Porridge Pot08/05/2014 - 2:38 pm

Rhubarb in a dressing sounds incredible, such a good idea!

Laura Wright08/05/2014 - 2:54 pm

Hi Molly, If your green rhubarb has a similar flavour to the pink stalks, I say it’s worth trying. It might be a bit more fibrous, so could benefit from a little bit more cooking time.

Eileen08/05/2014 - 2:55 pm

This salad sounds amazing! I love the idea of making rhubarb into a dressing–so tangy and awesome. And I bet it’s perfect with sweet mango and spicy almonds!

Laura Wright08/05/2014 - 2:56 pm

Hi Hannah! I just made up the big bowl of it and ate it for lunch over a couple days with a green smoothie and a bit of rice. That dish from Ottolenghi sounds amazing! Thanks for your kind note :)

Marcella08/05/2014 - 3:03 pm

This salad looks so elegant! Need to try it.

la domestique08/05/2014 - 6:50 pm

Absolutely gorgeous salad! I can’t wait to make this. Maybe you can’t make a house into a home– it happens naturally over time. I do think gathering with friends and family for meals at the kitchen table helps, though. Enjoy the family time!

Jacqui08/05/2014 - 8:09 pm

Loving the sound of this!!

Heather08/05/2014 - 9:59 pm

I completely agree. A home isn’t a home until you’ve had a good cry and spilt a glass of wine on the carpet. I am so looking forward to those summer bbq’s and late night beer drinking with my peeps, but as it stands, my house looks like a disaster zone. So happy that you’re starting to find your happy place in your sweet home.

What an unusual combo but I love your logic on how you came up with the concept. Your mom is so lucky to have a daughter like you. Great recipe.

What an unusual combo, but I love hearing how you came to that logical conclusion! It looks lovely. I am sure your mother knows how lucky she is to have a daughter like you. What a great idea for a meal. Enjoy!

Laura Dembowski09/05/2014 - 8:32 am

What a beautiful and unique salad! I can’t wait to try it to mix up dinner a litle.

[…] mango salad. so freaking […]

[…] Mango salad with rhubarb ginger dressing + chili almonds. . .those pictures!! […]

Liz @ Floating Kitchen10/05/2014 - 9:31 am

Gorgeous salad! Glad you are getting settled in :-).

ami@naivecookcooks10/05/2014 - 5:09 pm

I love love mangoes and this salad looks so good!

abby - little city adventures10/05/2014 - 5:16 pm

This looks like the PERFECT summer side dish! I’ll so have to make this for our next cook-out!

[…] will be making this salad all summer […]

[…] Spring Paella is bursting with fresh flavours. Another highlight is the Mango Salad with Rhubarb Ginger Dressing by The First Mess. For breakfast why not try our nutritious vegan gluten-free chia seeds porridge? It’s a […]

[…] Mango Salad with Rhubarb Ginger Dressing and Chili Almonds  – I have all of the ingredients on-hand. I am so making this tomorrow! […]

ATasteOfMadness12/05/2014 - 12:30 am

This is gorgeous! I love mango, this is calling my name!

well, hello monday… |12/05/2014 - 8:09 am

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Robyn12/05/2014 - 10:44 am

I made this salad last night for our first barbecue of the season. Huge, huge hit, especially among the discerning and (at barbecues) often underserved vegetarian contingent. That rhubarb lime dressing is completely fabulous, and I’ll be making it as long as rhubarbs are around this season.

For my taste–I might leave out the mint next time. I also added a bit of parsley, which did the trick for me.

dederka12/05/2014 - 5:19 pm

I know what you mean with that house to home thing, i’ve lived in my current place for the past 8 months more or less and it still doesn’t always feel right. The first thing to normally put the blame on is a low budget of a student but then a carpet is just a thing, and having friends over and making some happy memories should go further in cosy-fying the place. Something to keep in mind this week.

Thank you for a wonderful, creative recipe, which I’ll give a go as soon as I spot rhubarb. Not such a common good here in Milan.

Have a nice day Laura!

Salad | Pearltrees13/05/2014 - 1:43 am

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Ashlae13/05/2014 - 8:10 am

I made a janky ass version of this for breakfast this morning (spinach instead of kale, strawberries instead of rhubarb, etc.) and my belly is hella satisfied and happy. Stoked your house is finally starting to feel like a home – I think you should do a little house update, just sayin’. ;) xx

hannah13/05/2014 - 6:47 pm

Thank you so much for replying Laura! :) Just lettin you know I made this and LOVED it – I had some black rice and asparagus and that worked nicely!
Would you ever consider doing a video or a step-by-step photo guide?I got really nervous about how long to cook the rhubard for and what it should look/taste like and how much maple syrup to add seeing as I knew the dressing would go on sweet mango. I’d love to see you in the kitchen and how you go about assembling these crazy good recipes! Also would love to see how you slice the mango so beautifully!
I follow you on instagram and I’d LOVE to see you write up some of your green smoothie recipes! Seeing as this salad basically IS my green smoothie recipe (mango, kale, lime, almond, ginger) I’m not sure I would eat it alongside one! Would love to know your recipes!

Oh and here’s that salad:

h xxx

spotlight | This is for Real14/05/2014 - 1:39 pm

[…] get stuck in a rut buying the same ingredients and making the same recipes – I feel like this mango salad would be a great way to change things […]

Jessie19/05/2014 - 8:42 am

This looks incredible! I’ve been searching for a great mango salad recipe ever since having been wowed by one at a dinner party a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to make this. Thanks!

Amy19/05/2014 - 1:24 pm

LOVE this idea on how to deal with mangoes…I find them so frustrating to chop up, but with a handy vegetable peeler, this is a great solution!

Recipe Round-Up | Egginon23/05/2014 - 1:37 pm

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avocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah

avocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first messavocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first messavocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first mess
The last week or so has been a sent-from-the-universe-and-thank-goodness reminder that everyone’s fighting a tough battle if you listen or look hard enough–or even if you just listen and look on a basic level of human awareness. I’ve been pulling back on the online life a bit as a call to action/but also possibly just as a natural reaction to it all. Ever try that?  Just kind of having a passive involvement in the goings on of the internet, or not even offering recognition to an actual, separate “online life” as it were? Maybe you already have a hunch, but it’s been good. A mindful retreat to the physical world makes for a reinforced sense of warmth and closeness ’round here. A reader reminded me recently that gardeners, like serious whisperers-to-the-earth-level gardeners, are optimists by their very nature. I think she’s on to something there.

So I’ve been doing more in a general way, but also cooking more. Grain salads for healthy nibbling, seedy waffles with tons of berries, and greens all day every day. When life comes in with its highs and lows, taking control of your health is the easiest way to claw your way back to equilibrium I find–provided you’re lucky enough to have access to the basic tools. Setting aside time for the benefit of your own wellbeing is a worthy undertaking in self-love + the love of your peeps, whatever the circumstances. Things to make you think and go inward. Things to make you love it all out.

We’ve got a big thing of avocados and they’re all ripening at the same time. Obviously there’s tartines/toast and guacamole, but also? I’m kind of tired of both of those things. I know full well that nobody’s been dying for a plant-y version of tartare, but the concept seems so right with avocado. Punchy capers, dijon, red onion and a tiny splash of salty tamari all jumbled in with small dices of creamy-fatty avocado on a warm-spiced beet slice and a crunchy bread/cracker vehicle? COME. ON. It’s classy enough for guests, but easy enough for snacking on while you watch the finals in ridiculous anticipation. All in one bite there’s salt, tang, sweetness, roast-y qualities, and those light nudges of umami too. It’s definitely one of the better things I’ve made recently, and I’m gonna chalk that tiny victory up to a realignment with all the brilliance of the offline world :)

avocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first messavocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first messavocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first mess
avocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah
serves: makes almost 2 cups-worth of tartare
notes: You want the avocado to be ripe, but not so ripe that it’s soft and mushy. A little firm-ness is key for this one to distinguish itself from guacamole ;)

roasted beets:
3 medium beets, scrubbed
juice of 1 lime, divided
extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp dukkah spice (here’s a link to make your own!)

avocado tartare ingredients:
1 small red onion, small dice
2 tbsp capers, minced
3 sprigs of basil, chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp sherry vinegar
small splash of tamari soy sauce
salt + pepper
1 medium, just-ripe avocado

flat parsley leaves for serving (optional)
extra diced red onion

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Wrap each of the beets in foil and place them on the sheet. Roast for about 40 minutes or until a knife can be inserted into the beets with minimal resistance. Remove the sheet from the oven, open up the foil on the beets a bit and allow them to cool. You can peel the beets at this point if you like.

Once the beets have cooled enough, slice them up and toss them with half the lime juice, some olive oil, salt, pepper and dukkah. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the diced red onion, capers, basil, mustard, sherry vinegar, tamari, salt, pepper and a big splash of extra virgin olive oil. Cut the avocado down the middle and remove the pit. Carefully peel the exterior, trying to preserve the integrity of the flesh. Dice it up somewhat small and toss it into the bowl with the capers, mustard, sherry vinegar etc. Squeeze in the rest of the lime juice. Toss everything to combine, check for seasoning, and adjust accordingly.

Serve the avocado tartare with the beets, crackers/crostini, parsley leaves, and diced onion.

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Katie @ Whole Nourishment01/05/2014 - 5:06 am

Oh my goodness, I love this tartare recipe, especially the combination of capers, dijon, and sherry and the pairing with roasted beets. It’s refreshing to hear others sensing the weight of the internet world. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

The Circus Gardener01/05/2014 - 5:09 am

This looks delightful. Some great ingredients and flavour combinations.

Averie @ Averie Cooks01/05/2014 - 5:35 am

I love beets and I love avocado and this looks like a great dish – pinned!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar01/05/2014 - 8:36 am

This is absolutely stunning!! LOVE!

lynsey @ lynseylovesfood01/05/2014 - 8:57 am

I have been having my own battle with a huge bag of avocados and a waning creativity on what do with them as the weeks stretches on. This is perfect! Thanks Laura, xo

Kathryn01/05/2014 - 9:07 am

I think there’s something about the earthiness of this time of year that encourages a retreat back into the physical world isn’t there? The need to be outside and breathing in the fresh air and feeling for the signs of new life. All things you miss when you’re stuck staring at your computer/phone all day.

Ashley01/05/2014 - 9:26 am

All I have to say is, yesssss. To all of it. Per usual. Words, food, photos. Now let’s hang out again, mmmk? (p.s. THOSE WAFFLES. and YOUR KITCHEN. squeal.)

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth01/05/2014 - 9:35 am

I think a vegetable version of tartare is a brilliant idea. Looks gorgeous!

mimi01/05/2014 - 9:40 am

This meal is perfection! What a perfect way to use fresh avocadoes!

Lane | Green Spirit Adventures01/05/2014 - 10:20 am

This looks absolutely delicious! And your words warm my heart. :) Perfection.

Ileana01/05/2014 - 11:11 am

I can definitely get behind avocado tartare!

You had me at avocado. This looks delicious! :)

The Naked Fig01/05/2014 - 12:31 pm

How do you always know my favorite flavors?

Sini | my blue&white kitchen01/05/2014 - 12:53 pm

Give me all the avocados! Going to have some me-time and a bowl of this green goodness.

Skye01/05/2014 - 1:05 pm

Those roasted beets look sublime. I’m intrigued that you serve them with a squeeze of lime juice – I would never have though to do that, but I bet it gives them really lovely, summery kick.

Rosie01/05/2014 - 2:07 pm

This is so awesome and original, I’m on a real beets kick at the moment so this fits nicely!

Katie @ Produce on Parade01/05/2014 - 7:43 pm

What?! This is insanely genius…

Emma Galloway01/05/2014 - 11:11 pm

Oh gawd, a break from online life is excatly what I need right now! It sucks the life outa ya right? Loving this post, recipe and the knowledge of knowing I get to hang with your lovely self REAL soon! Yay! xx

Lindsey02/05/2014 - 8:23 am

I am WITH you on the whole un-plugging thing. it all feels like too much over-stimulation at times. but hooray for gardening being a mild form of meditation/therapy! and major avocado-love for this one, laura! looks spot-on! xo

Cristina02/05/2014 - 10:11 am

These photos are especially beautiful. I have been adding capers to everything lately, so this recipe is particularly fortuitous. I would happily eat the avocado straight from the bowl, but with the beets piled onto toast, you have yourself a tartine of the highest order.

sandra02/05/2014 - 4:06 pm

how lovely – I was not aware an avocado could be tartare. I thought that referred to the uncooked-ness of a meet. Live and learn!

Lisa | Je suis alimentageuse02/05/2014 - 4:37 pm

Mmm the ripe yet still chunky avocados with the sweetness of beets sounds dreamy. Wonderful photos and a delicious looking recipe! I must try this some time =)

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Sophie Harriet03/05/2014 - 1:36 pm

You make healthy food look better than chocolate! I think in this day and age it’s always so tempting to reach for the easy way out, and we find ourselves consuming far too many processed foods. Your blog makes it apparent how worthwhile it is to nourish our bodies with food! Yum!

Tracy03/05/2014 - 7:56 pm

You HAVE to try the avocado/beet dish at Vedge in Philadelphia. Or, there is a version of it in their book. This recipe reminded me of it. It is almost a take on “bagels and lox” but with beets, avocado and smoked tofu.

kelly @ livelovepasta05/05/2014 - 10:40 am

this looks beyond amazing!

[…] Et que serait cette sélection sans recette à base d’avocat? […]

Kasey07/05/2014 - 12:21 am

Being that I’m the eternal pessimist, it sounds like I really should consider gardening. What a beautiful recipe! We’re a big avocado family over here :)

Brian @ A Thought For Food07/05/2014 - 9:14 am

See, I can’t get past the idea of just going to town on a half an avocado with a spoon. But my mind is now totally blown. Such a lovely way to showcase their rich flavor.

abby - little city adventures07/05/2014 - 8:29 pm

This looks amazing! And the photos are gorgeous, as always! So inspiring!

Spring CSA Week 5 «08/05/2014 - 1:35 pm

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Clémentine11/05/2014 - 4:52 am

YuummYumm! I think I’m going to love this tartare! Big fan of avocado and dukkah has been on my “to cook list” for way too long!

I do not know if you have ever tried sweet avocado, Laura… But I’m craving for it: simply with a bit of rice syrup and sometimes some raw cocoa beans! Not a week goes by without it…

A few weeks that I’m following you Laura and I can already tell you that I love your pics, your inspiration and so on! Congrats and thanks for sharing!

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Ash13/06/2014 - 12:03 pm

I made this last night, and it met with rave reviews. My husband basically inhaled it. A huge hit – love the capers with the avocados (a combo I’d never have thought to make).

I’m thinking I’ll serve these at a party later this summer…

Kathryn16/10/2014 - 10:02 pm

I have been dying for a plant-y version of tartare since I stopped eating meat! God, this looks amazing! Thank you sooo much!