Beet Burgers for a Crowd
Friends have asked for this recipe so many times I’ve lost count.
This recipe was originally given to me by my friend Lana while I was living in Melbourne, Australia. I had just eaten with her and at the vegetarian and vegan Fitzroy institution, Vegie Bar. Lana is a food-loving vegan nutritionist and she was overjoyed when she noticed my enthusiasm for the inventive plant-based creations on the menu (the tempeh pizza really stood out for me). Later she sent me a few vegan recipes to try out on my own, and the beet burger became my favourite. I’ve made it so many times over the years that I’ve ended up with my own version, which you see here. This recipe is fun and super easy to make for a crowd. The egg helps it stay together nicely but you can omit it to keep it vegan (it stays together nicely without the egg, too!). The beets need to be sliced thinly, so use a food processor or mandolin, if you have one (watch your digits!) You can prepare the patties days in advance, if you wish, or freeze until ready to use. When you want to reheat them, just brush with oil and throw them on the grill or under the broiler.
(Yields 6 large patties or 10 small ones)
2 large raw beets, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup quick oats
1 tbsp spicy paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chile flakes
Salt and pepper
If using egg:
Additional ¼ cup quick oats
1 large egg (optional, preferably free range)
Preheat oven to 180 C / 400 F. Line a tray with parchment paper, brush with oil, and set aside.
Place diced beets, beans, dijon, vinegars, oats, garlic, spices, ½ tsp salt, and a generous grind of black pepper in a large bowl. Add the egg and additional oats, if using. Mash it with a potato masher until you reach a uniform consistency. Place mix in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set.
Use your hands to form six to ten rounds out of the beet mix, depending on the size you want. Place them on the tray, brush with oil, and flatten them with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon until you’re left with 1cm (½ inch) thick rounds. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges get nice and crispy.
Serve on hearty buns with a spread of garlic aioli and top with avocado, thinly sliced tomato, and crispy lettuce. Garnish with a pickle.