I experimented with a cannellini bean and red lentil burger recipe on Saturday, freezing the patties to eat later this week.  I felt I'd made a good fist of it, combining crushed white beans and cooked lentils to achieve a pink sticky meat like texture and layering in additional flavour with plenty of garlic, sweet paprika and oregano. The patties were well seasoned, carried a little ground almonds to bulk them out in place of breadcrumbs and an egg helped to combine the ingredients together.

Defrosting the burgers for this evening's meal, I experienced a small amount of angst. I wasn't wholly convinced I was onto a winner and the best odds I could give myself was a 50/50 chance they would taste OK. There's a very good reason I have not shared my recipe here. They were edible; however, it took Nigel Slater's sweet chilli sauce for them to graduate to passable.

With a reasonable likelihood of a fail on my hands, I looked for a side dish with scope to save the day. This green bean & mushroom salad (from the July 2005 issue of BBC Good Food), was served warm, its tangy soy dressing delivering on flavour where my burgers sadly lacked.