Monday, November 08, 2010

Beetroot Burgers


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 I went over to the dark side embraced vegetarianism for a few years, much to my mom's exasperation, because much as she loved vegetables, meals sans meat as the start component were hard to imagine. I've since gone back to my carnivorous ways, but my love for veggies remains firm and there are many meatless meals to be found in our home.

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.


Beetroot Burgers
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 onion
3 eggs
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.

29 comments:

Kulsum on November 08, 2010 10:28 a.m. said...

Looks great Marisa. I can imagine that beetroot and carrot work very well to form a burger. I would only go ahead and add jalapenos to avocado for that kick ;)

Marisa on November 08, 2010 11:01 a.m. said...

That would be delicious! I was also thinking that a bit of chili powder and perhaps a touch of cumin in the patties themselves would taste great.

Tara on November 08, 2010 12:01 p.m. said...

These look wonderful! And your photos are gorgeous, as always! I've put these down as next Monday's Meat-Free meal; but I'm just concerned abut being about to find buckwheat. Is there something that I can substitute?

Marisa on November 08, 2010 12:17 p.m. said...

Thanks Tara, so glad they grabbed your attention like that!

(Answering your question here for the benefit of my other readers) Buckwheat can be substituted with millet, or even quinoa or failing all else, leftover brown rice. Enjoy & let me know how they turn out!

Sarah Duff on November 08, 2010 3:27 p.m. said...

These look delish! As a veggie, I'm always on the lookout for new ideas for veggie burgers - definitely going to give these a try!

Claudz said...

Very very creative! Not sure how I'm going to talk my anti-veggie, meat-loving boy into eating these...... :)

Marisa on November 08, 2010 4:35 p.m. said...

Hey, TheHusband is a sworn carnivore, and he raved about these, so it's possible! Perhaps make double decker burgers with one beetroot & one beef patty to ease him in... ;-)

Kit said...

I love the beetroot bits in those packets of crisps! So these sound great... if I can a) find some buckwheat and b) trick my kids into eating them!

Eliana on November 08, 2010 5:33 p.m. said...

I would have never thought of making this on my own but it sounds incredible.

Swathi on November 08, 2010 6:42 p.m. said...

I am in search of veggie burger recipes; this one looks delicious. I am going to give a try.

Sweet artichoke said...

Very appetizing veggie burgers! It took me a long time to enjoy eating beetroots, but now I love them!

Kocinera on November 08, 2010 8:10 p.m. said...

Oooh, these burgers sound so cool! I've never seen anything like them! Even though I'm definitely a carnivore at heart, I really love to cut back on the meat from time to time and go a little vegetarian. Like a vegetarian holiday! hehehe These look fabulous!

Joanne on November 08, 2010 8:45 p.m. said...

Quite the contrary, my mom never instilled ANY veggies in us...thankfully I still turned out scurvy-free and veggie-loving. That's more than I can say for my siblings. These burgers sound awesome!

Valerie on November 09, 2010 1:10 a.m. said...

First those amazing pizzas, and now burgers! As a former vegetarian, I have to say that I'm glad to be back in the delicious world of meat-eaters. :)

My A520 camera arrived! Since it was used, it didn't come with any manual, so I'm lost and confused. May I please ask you to divulge a few tips? It's a wee more complicated than I thought it would be. :O

LaBellaCook said...

These would make it easy for anyone looking to cut back on meat or even who plan to become vegetarian. I would love to give these a go!

Cindy on November 09, 2010 4:35 a.m. said...

They look sublime!

Marisa on November 09, 2010 2:26 p.m. said...

Hey, I aim to please! So glad your camera has arrived - sent you a mail re that. Think you're going to enjoy playing around with your new toy!

Marisa on November 09, 2010 2:27 p.m. said...

I think you need to show your siblings the error of their (scurvy-loving) ways... Perhaps unwittingly feed them some beetroot burgers? *evil grin*

Marisa on November 09, 2010 2:27 p.m. said...

I think a vegetarian holiday sounds awesome! I'd definitely be up for that, although I think it'll be a hard-sell for TheHusband...

Marisa on November 09, 2010 2:28 p.m. said...

I'm sure you've got a few tricks up your sleeve... ;-) And yes, those beetroot crisps are divine.

tasteofbeirut on November 11, 2010 1:02 a.m. said...

Fascinating burgers! I have stopped eating the real thing years ago but was still looking for an alternative. This might be it!

Steph on November 11, 2010 7:48 a.m. said...

what a creative idea. .I really need such recipes like this! go as in go

Jeanne @ CookSister! said...

Oh what a clever idea! These look fabulous and such a great option to make for my vegetarian friends :)

foodzone on November 17, 2010 12:58 a.m. said...

Those look so fabulous. Can't wait to try these b'ful burgers.

David on January 25, 2011 4:11 p.m. said...

Wow, we had totally missed that you tried our burgers (actually all credit for this burger goes to Luise, I am just a happy eater). We are so glad that you (and your husband!!) liked them, they are a fav in our home too. Your pictures look great. Actually, I would love to have that burger as a night snack right now...

Marisa on January 25, 2011 5:04 p.m. said...

@David - Well, a big thanks to Luise for coming up with the recipe! They really were fantastic!

Courtney on July 23, 2012 6:35 p.m. said...

These turned out really good but somehow my batch made 11 large burgers. I subbed rice instead of buckwheat and added some cumin and chili powder. I also baked them, spritzing them with olive oil and turning midway through (with another spritz on that side.) They still came out with a bit of crunch and very healthy! Thanks for another great beetroot idea!

Anonymous said...

Shall I pan fried n freeze them for future use or just shape into raw patties n pan fried when used? Thanks heaps!

Marisa on June 22, 2013 3:36 p.m. said...

I would shape into patties and freeze them raw. Then defrost and cook.

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