There are plenty of vegetarian burger recipe options to suit every palate. Most rely on a few basic building blocks such as a type of bean, a grain, vegetables, herbs, spices, and a binding element to hold everything together. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are the base for falafel style veggie burgers and they would work fine in this recipe as well. But black beans have a slightly deeper, earthy flavor that goes well with the beets.
In fact, this might be one of the easiest ways to use beets since the raw beets actually peel easily and no pre-cooking is needed. Their natural sweetness matches well with the beans and they add a big boost of nutrition to these burgers. If you're not a fan of cumin, try substituting some mild curry powder or even smoked paprika. Or keep it simple with just salt, pepper and maybe some dried oregano.
You can fry these but the cooked patties are moist and very flavorful even when baked in the oven. Serve them plain or top them with your favorite sauce or even caramelized onions and sliced pickles. It's hard to go wrong with these.
- 1/4 cup uncooked white or brown rice
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 shallot, peeled and quartered
- 1 large beet, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 4 seeded rolls, split
- 1 cup baby arugula or other small salad greens
- Tahini or tzatziki sauce (for serving)
Add the 3/4 cup of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
Heat the oven to 400 F.
To make the burgers, add the quartered shallot and quartered beet to a food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles rice. Add the black beans and the cooled cooked rice. Continue pulsing until the mixture is mostly pureed but still slightly chunky. Scrape the batter into a large bowl.
Stir in the egg, breadcrumbs, chopped fresh parsley, ground cumin, ground black pepper, and salt. Stir until combined and form into 4 equal sized patties or 8 smaller slider patties.
Put the burgers on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Flip and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes. You can also pan fry these in a skillet or cast iron pan.
Sandwich the cooked patties in the seeded rolls. Top with the arugula and drizzle with a tahini or tzatziki sauce.