• All the cool kids in food joints the world over are doing it… cooking with hemp, that is.

    Recipe, styling and photography by Hein van Tonder

    Mushroom burgers with haloumi and hemp pesto

    Serves: 4
    Total Time: 45 mins


    • PESTO

    • 160g fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
    • 20g hemp hearts/seeds
    • 20g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
    • 3 tbsp hemp-seed oil
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled
    • fresh lemon juice, to taste
    • sea salt flakes and freshly ground
    • black pepper, to taste

    • 8 large brown mushrooms
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • hemp-seed oil, to fry
    • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
    • 12 slices haloumi cheese
    • 1 baby gem lettuce, leaves separated
    • 2 tomatoes, sliced
    • 12 Peppadews
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • sweet potato fries, to serve



    For the pesto, place the basil leaves, hemp hearts/seeds, Parmesan, 3 tbsp hemp-seed oil and the garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until smooth. Taste the mixture and add lemon juice and seasoning, as desired. Blitz to combine and set aside.


    For the “burgers”, heat a griddle pan over high heat. Rub the mushrooms with the olive oil and fry, top sides down, until griddle marks form.


    Flip and repeat until the mushrooms are cooked through. Set aside and keep warm.


    Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add a splash of hempseed oil and fry the sliced fennel until caramelised, about 5 minutes. Remove the fennel from the pan, set aside and keep warm.


    Using the same pan over high heat, add a splash of hemp-seed oil and fry the haloumi slices until golden on each side, about 2 minutes per side.


    Place 4 mushrooms, cap sides up, on serving plates and assemble the burgers layer by layer, with the lettuce, tomatoes, haloumi, fennel, pesto (reserving some for dipping) and Peppadews.


    Top with the remaining mushrooms and serve with sweet potato fries and the reserved pesto alongside, for dipping.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com