Beet & Carrot Burgers
One of my uncles and I regularly joke around about tofu. “Come visit,” I’ll say. “I promise not to serve you any tofu.”
“Well, I’ll promise not to eat it if you do!” he says.
So this time, I didn’t serve tofu. I made beet and carrot burgers and he asked for the recipe.
One of the problems with some vegetarian diets, I think, is the meat substitutes. Meat substitutes are like a tin fiddle or skim milk. They’re sad versions of the real thing. I don’t like meat substitutes, I like meat. I also like vegetables, which is why these burgers are so good. They don’t pretend to be what they’re not.
This recipe is from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables, which was my new addition to the cookbook collection this season. Farmer John Peterson runs Angelic Organics, a CSA outside of Chicago. When I got this cookbook, I began to read some of the essays and wonder if my sister and brother-in-law are members of Angelic Organics, since they’d often talk about their “box.” (Produce is delivered in a box to members of this CSA, unlike other CSAs where one may have to pick up the produce and bag/box oneself.)
“What’s the name of your CSA?” I chatted to Gillian.
“Angelic Organics,” she replied.
“Have you heard of Farmer John’s Cookbook? It’s by the farmer of your CSA!” I informed her.
“Yes, we got that when we joined,” she told me.
This is their second season as members; boy, am I slow on the uptake.
Even if you don’t like beets, you may like this recipe. Even if you don’t like conventional veggie burgers, you may like this recipe. Give it a try.
Baked Beet & Carrot Burgers
1/2 C. sesame seeds
1 C. sunflower seeds
2 C. grated, peeled beets (1-2 medium beets)
2 C. grated carrots (about 4 carrots)
1/2 C. minced onion
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. cooked brown rice
1 C. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. finely chopped fresh parsley
3 T. flour
2. T. soy sauce or tamari
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/8-1/4 t. cayenne pepper (or more, if you like)
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly coat a baking sheet with butter.
Place a small, heavy skillet (preferably iron) over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir them on the dry skillet until lightly browned and fragrant, 3-5 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning them. Immediately remove from heat and transfer seeds to a dish to cool.
Toast the sunflower seeds in the same way you toasted the sesame seeds.
Combine the beets, carrots and onion in a large bowl. Stir in the toasted sunflower and sesame seeds, eggs, rice, cheddar cheese, oil, flour, parsley, soy sauce and garlic. (You may want to use your hands.) Add cayenne and mix until combined.
Using your hands, shape the mixture into 12 patties and arrange them in rows on the baking sheet.
Bake until the patties are brown around the edge, probably 30 minutes, depending upon how finely or coarsely you grated the vegetables. Turn them if they’re large and thick. Serve alone or on buns with hamburger fixings. (Mustard is good!)