Sunday, September 5, 2010

Beet & Brown Rice Burgers with Caramelized Shallots & Wasabi Mayo. And Tater Tots.


Forget differences of politics or religion. The world is pretty much divided into two camps: beet haters & beet lovers. I recently started a kerfuffle on Twitter when I outed myself as a beet hater. Sure, I had my supporters ("Beets taste like dirt!") but there were also many vocal beet lovers who defended the humble Beta vulgaris with such passion that you'd think they'd all grown up on the Schrute family beet farm. Barbara from Gone Pie, I'm talking to you. ;)

But I have an announcement to make... I ate beets, and I liked them! Yes, friends, I found a recipe that turned this beet hater into, we'll say, a beet liker. I'm not in love yet, but I'm slowly warming up to them.

I found this recipe for Beet & Brown Rice Burgers in a cookbook I recently bought, Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger. And now, the beet haters & beet lovers of the world can finally unite. And there will be peace on earth. 

I decided on this recipe because I was looking for something that wouldn't mask the taste of beets (that would defeat the purpose) but that wouldn't hit me over the head with it either. I mean, I'm not going to dive in and start eating borscht or anything crazy like that. The recipe was pretty easy, after sauteing a chopped red onion in some olive oil, you add 3 shredded beets to the pan with 1/2 tsp. salt, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the beet softens. Then you add 1 Tbsp. of red wine vinegar and mix thoroughly.

You then add this beet mixture to a mixing bowl with: 1 1/2 cups cooked red or black beans (I used red) that have been coarsely mashed, 1 cup cooked brown rice, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, and black pepper to taste. Then you form your burger patties, and cook them in olive oil over high heat, so that you get a nice char on the outside, which will help keep the patties together.

This looks disturbingly like raw meat. But I swear, there are no dead animals in here!
My red "meat" burgers.

I decided to caramelize some shallots (sliced into thin rounds, cooked in olive oil & sprinkled with just a little brown sugar until crispy brown) to go on top of these burgers, and also made some wasabi mayo (just some wasabi paste mixed into Vegenaise, you can make this as sinus-clearing as you like), and I thought these flavors really complemented the beet burgers in a fantastic way. I could definitely taste the earthy beet flavor, but it really blended harmoniously with everything else. (Notice I said "earthy" instead of "dirt-like.")


They were really good veggie burgers, despite the fact that they were a little hard to keep together. I've mentioned in the past how much I hate mushy veggie burgers, but these weren't mushy, they just didn't hold together quite as much as I would like. I might up the mashed bean to other ingredients ratio, or experiment with some different binders, next time I make these, and I will definitely make them again. If only just so I can say that I'm now a member of the beet-eaters club.

11 comments:

  1. looks delicious. i like beets best raw and shredded with cabbage and other goodies stuffed in a tortilla roll with some hummus. :) but i must try this. i find that flour+ water keeps veggie burgers from separating when fried but then they drastically change flavour and turn more bread-like. :/ let me know if you discover how to glue them together in a tasty way. :)

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  2. Peace on earth achieved via beets! Well done. :-) For the record, I don't like borscht either.

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  3. I am in the beet lover category. I love the color, the texture, the flavor. I love to eat the greens (had some this morning with our tofu scramble - delicious!) My daughter, a life long vegetarian cum vegan has always been on your side of the fence - tastes like dirt. Well, I for one am proud of you to at least try the damn things. I felt the same way about brussel sprouts until I found several ways I like to cook 'em. One of those ways was your sweet and spicy roasted version. In fact, that is how I stumbled across your blog in the first place. And now you are on my blog roll and I visit your site often. Oh, oh - I'm rambling. Your beet burgers look good and I shall give them a go. Thanks for sharing!
    Patty aka Vampire Gran

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  4. Thanks everyone for the positive feedback! And thanks again Patty for the compliments on my brussels sprout recipe - that's still my favorite way to prepare them! :)

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  5. Love beets in many ways! Glad you expanded your horizons. I saw this cookbook in the bookstore the other day and thought how ingenious it was.

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  6. Noelle - it is a great cookbook. It's not 100% vegan, but there are several other yummy-looking vegan recipes that I really want to try. I recommend it!

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  7. These look great! And thanks for the reminder..I have that cookbook and forgot! LOL

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  8. I too hate mush veggie burgers and the only time I have them is when I make them myself with a similar recipe to what you have posted here. These look great!

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  9. Oh! These look amazing! I am a certified beet lover and I have seen a few recipes similar to this around but am truly inspired to try them now! Your recipe looks so good, love the addition of beans and brown rice!! Thanks for dropping in over at veggie num num :)

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  10. I loved these burgers too..feel the same way about the mushiness of most veggie patties. A good one to try is the beefy bacon burger out of the cookbook 500 vegan recipes.

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  11. A little different... but tasty! Thanks. Spreading the word!

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