© 2018 Can Caramelo

Black Bean and Beet Burger

My plan was to ask my mom what she thought about the different versions of this recipe while she was visiting us recently. My plan was to take the pictures while she would take care of Nil, so I would for once be able to do the photos without interruption. My plan was to rent a little flat next to the beach for a couple of days. My plan was to have some time for exercise while she was here. I thought we might work into the garden together. I planned to cook a lot of interesting food for her. But you might have guessed by now that things turned out differently. Simón started throwing up and then began to burn with fever. Time got very relative, stretching in the difficult moments like chewing gum while at the same time whole days flew by and when she left we hadn’t been able to do almost anything but take care of the kids. Despite all the joy it’s hard to have kids and especially hard if they are sick. Seeing them so weak certainly puts priorities into place and makes me appreciate being healthy – which luckily is our default state. Now my blog post is kind of late, but everyone is feeling well again and the next time my mum comes to visit, we’ll go to the beach, work in the garden and I’ll cook a lot of food for her while the kids play and jump and run around. And we’ll certainly make my favourite veggie burgers.

I’ve made many veggie burgers, but none as good as these. They hold together really well, they have an earthy-deep-zesty complex flavour, a nice texture with a little crunch from the toasted seeds and they look awesome. Also: beet, beans, oats, … they contain fibre, vitamins, minerals, calcium among others, so on top of delicious, they are very healthy. I really like to have them with what I call “cashewnnaise”, a vegan sauce made of cashews, lemon and herbs with a bright and fresh taste which is super creamy. This time I made some sourdough spelt and nut buns, but you can use any burger bun or bread slice you like. My concept of a burger includes stacking as many different toppings as available, so I usually end up with a tower of a burger, difficult to eat, but you know, I like challenges.

Makes 8-10 rather large patties.

  • 2-3 medium beetroots (raw) (3 packed cups of grated beetroot)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (cooked, 1x400g can)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • zest from 1 organic lemon
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 3 sprigs thyme or rosemary, leaves picked
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 8 Kalamata olives, pitted (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying/baking)

For the vegan version:

  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

For the vegetarian version:

  • 180g feta cheese

To serve:

  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Onion rings
  • Micro greens or lettuce
  • Cashewnnaise (recipe below)
  • Mustard
  • Your favourite burger buns

Cashewnnaise

  • 1 cup cashews soaked at least 2 hours (or overnight)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, cilantro or mint (or a mixture of those)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • juice (around 3 tablespoons) and zest from 1 organic lemon
  • sea salt

Directions.
Grate the beets and onion with a box grater or food processor. Set aside. Put the beans, sunflower seeds, herbs and olives (if using) into the food processor (if you don’t own a food processor, a fork will also do) and pulse a few times until combined and partly mashed, but with a few whole beans. Combine the beets, the oats, the lemon zest, the salt and the mixture from the food processor in a large bowl. For the vegan version, add tamari, mustard and maple syrup, for the vegetarian version, crumble the feta. Use your hands to mix the dough. Set aside for at least 20min. If you decide to bake your patties, preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Meanwhile you can prepare the cashewnnaise. Drain and rinse the cashews. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if needed and be aware that it slightly thickens after blending.
Now form the burger dough into patties, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20-25min or add olive oil to a pan and fry 2-3 min on each side on medium heat.

Notes.
I’ve tried these black bean and beet burgers both fried and in the oven and I found the difference was very little. The patties last around 4 days in the fridge and freeze well.

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