We're quite a carnivorous bunch, aren't we? And by "we", I refer to us here on the southern tip of Africa. As the old joke goes, if you want veggies, you eat boerewors, and chicken is more than sufficient to take care of your fruit requirements. As child I used to drive my mom crazy with my requests for a "veisie" (riff on vleisie = small piece of meat) and there was nothing more pleasurable than sucking the meat off the bones at a braai. Or munching on a crispy, salty, oily piece of pork rind. *crunch* Not to mention fishing out the marrow from marrowbones and slurping it up with all the accompanying sounds that go with it!
But I've always had a soft spot for veggies. Kudos must go to my parents for instilling a love for veggies in us from a young age. My mom made sure that every meal included at least two veggies and a big mixed salad. Thanks mom! As a teen and young adult
Imagine my delight when I came upon these unusual burgers on one of my favourite food blogs, Green Kitchen Stories. My photos don't do these burgers justice, but theirs surely do! As a teen these beetroot burgers would've made my vegetarian heart skip a beat and as an adult, they made for an equally delightful experience, prompting TheHusband to declare that "they taste just like normal burgers!".
Weeeeelll. I wouldn't go that far. To my mind, they don't taste beefy, but that doesn't detract one iota from their fabulousness. Crunchy on the outside (rather reminiscent of beetroot crisps* actually) with a ruby red colouring, and beautifully cooked on the inside, these burgers are a delight from start to finish. Definitely a recipe to be treasured and made over and over again (I imagine they'd be equally delicious with just carrots).
*If you haven't tried root vegetable crisps you are missing out big time! Go and procure/make some right now. And eat your heart out.
Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
Makes 8 patties
Serve on a bun, layered with crispy, fresh lettuce, creamy mashed avocado and perhaps some crumbled feta. Pickles would also make a lovely addition, indeed anything that you would normally add to your burger.
1 cup water
1/2 cup buckwheat
pinch of salt
5 small beetroots, scrubbed clean
2 large carrots, scrubbed clean
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, ground
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
vegetable oil, for shallow frying
1. Bring water to a boil in a small pot, add buckwheat and a pinch of salt, then cook on low temperature for approximately 10 minutes or until soft. Rinse and drain.
2. Meanwhile, slice off tops and bottoms of beets and carrots, then grate them, together with the onion into a large mixing bowl.
3. Add buckwheat, eggs, garlic, flour, fennel, salt and pepper to the grated vegetables and mix thoroughly to combine.
4. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a large spoonful of the beetroot mixture to the pan, using a spoon to shape it into a patty. Repeat with the rest of the mixture or until your frying pan is full. Cook for a few minutes on each side, turning once. The beetroot patties should be crisp on the outside (but not burnt) and cooked on the inside. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on kitchen paper.
You might have to experiment with the heat level on your stove, so I would recommend that you fry a test patty first.You will probably have to fry the rest of the beetroot mixture in two or three batches, depending on the size of your pan.