Last night I was up in the wee hours of the morning. (Like 4 am) I woke up when the dog had to go out and just couldn’t go back to sleep. My mind started to wander and I thought back to one of the emails I had seen when, before I went to bed, I was cleaning up the email on my phone. The title was “Beet Burgers” and it just sounded interesting to me at 4. I had plenty of tiny little beets left over from Saturday’s farmer’s market run so the idea, at least, sounded plausible. I didn’t bother to look anything up then and I’m sure my dreams (when I finally fell asleep) were full of little purple things on buns!
I had things to do this morning (TMI alert!) like a mammogram and a trip to the library but once things calmed down I started by doing an internet search for “beet burgers.” Lots came up but not what I was looking for. Luckily I thought to look in the deleted email and found my jumping off recipe! I modified them some but I always want to give credit to where I got my idea! So, after making some yummy Broccoli Pesto just because I saw the recipe and *had* to make it, it was time for dinner!
I had little tiny baby beets left over from the beet salad I made the other night. I peeled them and put them into my food processor because using a mandolin is just too hard on my hands. Another time I might have Mark or one of the kids actually peel the beets for me, because that can require the use of those fine movements that hurt my joints.
It was definitely a process, but the end results were good. I didn’t use all of the mixture to make burgers, and so I’m going to experiment with making beet “meat”balls. I’d also like to work on crisping up the exterior a little bit, either with some flour or cornstarch, or by frying them in more oil?
As a note I did use beans I had cooked myself. Having grown up on canned beans I’m actually finding that I don’t like the texture of home cooked beans as much. But since they are so much cheaper I have been cooking my own and freezing them. I find that freezing them gives them a bit of a softer texture that I prefer.
4+ tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion (Vidalias are my favorite), chopped
2 cups shredded beets
1 tbsp vinegar
2 cups cooked kidney beans
1 cup cooked brown rice medley (or just brown rice – I had leftover cooked that was a mixture)
salt and pepper
Heat a pan on medium heat and add about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Cooking over medium to make sure they don’t get too brown, cook the onions for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. Add the shredded beets and a little salt and turn down then cover, cooking until the beets are soft. I checked at 10 minutes and then again at 15 and they still weren’t soft enough for me. So I added 2 tbsp of water and re-covered the pan for about 3 minutes which finished it nicely. The onion will turn red of course, and everything will be mushy and combined. Add the vinegar and take the pan off the heat.
While the beets and onions are cooking combine the beans and rice mix in a large bowl. Smush together well (that is the technical term!) and add a little salt and pepper. When the beets are done add them to the beans and re-smush so that all is combined well. Using your hands, form into patties. They are a little delicate so be careful.
Put 2 or more tbsp oil back into the pan where the beets cooked and let it heat up. Cook in the oil for about 2-5 minutes per side. (I think I’ll go longer next time.) Then put the patties onto an oiled baking sheet and put in the oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. Serve as a hamburger.
While it might not have been the *best* burger I’ve ever had, it was pretty darn good. And it has so much potential. I’m excited about the possibilities!