Beet and Quinoa Burgers

Beets. You pretty much love them or hate them. My wife loves them, and she introduced me to their magnificence shortly after we met. That said, I’m still not allowed to touch any beets on her plate. Anyway, as I grew more and more fond of this magical root vegetable (which also has amazing edible greens…more on that in the future), I wanted to play around with alternative ways of preparing them other than the classics: boiled and put in a spinach salad with some goat cheese and citrus or seasoned and roasted. SO, one day, I decided to risk everything (you have no idea the dismay that would result from ruined beets) and make beet and quinoa veggie burgers. Since that fateful day, the dish has become a mainstay on our plates, and it will likely reach “comfort food” status in the not too distant future! This particular recipe makes 6 good sized patties, and since eggs aren’t quite as easily divisible as most ingredients, I’m going to suggest amounts for the ingredients and using any remaining patties for lunch leftovers the next day or as a prime candidate for freezing and thawing later.

These burgers pair very well with steamed broccoli, roasted asparagus, sauteed green beans, and sweet potato fries

Time: 15-20 minutes (assuming you have made the quinoa and boiled the beets ahead of time or are using pre-cooked beets…otherwise, add a few hours of mostly waiting time)

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium beets
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (dry) quinoa
  • Bread Crumbs (however many you need to have the patties come together. I use regular since I find them more absorbent than Panko).
  • Any seasonings you might want that would compliment your topping choices. A few tried and true classics are:
    • Ribbon cut mint leaves
    • Black Pepper
    • Orange zest
    • Powdered goat milk.
  • Powder free PVC Gloves. If you do it right, these will not make it into the food…but they will keep your hands from being a reddish hue for a few days.

Method

  • Boil beets. The best way I’ve found to do this is to cut the ends off the top and bottom and put in water. Boil with the skin on until the beets are tender (think like you’re making mashed potatoes). Then, pull them out and submerge them in cold water for a little while. After they’re cooled, you should be able to peel the skin off by pressing on it with your thumbs.
  • Make the quinoa in accordance with the method described on the quinoa packaging.
  • Quarter the peeled beets and put in a food processor with the egg and any additional seasonings you’re using, and pulse until there are no more large beet chunks (this will go quicker if you cut the beets smaller initially, but then you miss out on some of the mechanical fun)
  • In a large glass bowl (unless you want to risk having pinkish plastic forever), mix the quinoa and your beet/egg/seasoning concoction together by stirring in the quinoa.
  • Add bread crumbs (it will take more than you think since beets are so water based) until the mixture comes together enough that you can form patties.
  • Set aside for flavours to blend and for the mixture to thicken a tad more, and heat a large flat bottomed pan over medium heat.
    • Any flat pan will do, but nonstick and cast iron are best…and I’d caution against stainless steel due to the fact that I’ve not quiet yet figured out the science of sticking prevention in that particular vessel.
  • Pour some oil or a pat of butter in the pan, and let it heat.
  • While the oil/butter heats, form your patties to desired size, and place directly in the pan.
  • Cook times aren’t an exact science, and the thickness and size of your patties will make this vary but I generally go for 5 minutes per side…when you flip them, there should be a little bit of browning on the patty.
  • Place atop your desired bread with toppings and sauce
    • Topping suggestions:
      • Cheeses: Goat, blue, brie
      • Veggies: Spinach, tomato, shaved brussels sprouts
      • Sauces: Orange vinaigrette, garlic aioli, honey
  • Devour and enjoy.
The beet consistency you’re looking for after mixing with the egg.
Ground Beet Ball ready to be formed into patties.
Griddle time!

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