Isa and Lisa’s All American Beet Burgers
Doesn't taste like beets!
One of my vegan/plant-based heroes is Isa Chandra Mokowitz of Post Punk Kitchen fame. I have been cooking from her cookbooks and website for over a decade because you can never fail with her recipes! When her book “Isa Does It” came out, I joked with her I was going to cook one of her recipes every day for a year and start a blog called Isa and Lisa. And she joked back and said Isa is like Lisa but Noelle (get it?).
Isa’s dishes are loved by everyone – even meat eaters. So when I am cooking for a crowd of omni or carnivores I often make one of Isa’s recipes. Because we try our best to avoid oil, I often omit it in her recipes and they come out great this way. But this recipe doesn’t list oil as an ingredient, so win! However, because these are absolutely way better when cooked in a cast iron skillet as she instructs, you may choose to use a very light spray on the bottom of the pan – but I have made them both ways and they come out fine! The cast iron gives them a great texture. These burgers are a sure crowd pleaser!
Note: This burger does not taste like beets. However, I decided to make a batch after writing this post but I didn’t have a beet. So I subbed shredded carrot and used a couple tsp of beet powder I had in the pantry from a recipe I never made. It gave the burgers that meaty color without the flavor of beets. If you hate beets and don’t care about the color, these are great with carrots! I had it on a toasted Ezekiel English muffin with lettuce, tomato, red onion, sweet pickle, mustard and ketchup and a side of baked wedge fries (see recipe!).
1 1/4 cups cooked, cooled brown or black rice
1 cup cooked brown or green lentils, cooled, drained well
1 cup shredded beets
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme, rubbed between your fingers
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel (or finely crushed fennel seed)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons very finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons smooth almond butter
1/2 cup very fine breadcrumbs
Peel beets and shred with the shredder attachment of your food processor, then set aside. Change the attachment to a metal blade. Pulse the brown rice, shredded beets and lentils about 15 to 20 times, until the mixture comes together, but still has texture. It should look a lot like ground meat.
Now transfer to a mixing bowl and add all the remaining ingredients. Use your hands to mix very well. Everything should be well incorporated, so get in there and take your time, it could take a minute or two.
Place the mixture in the fridge for a half hour to chill.
Preheat a cast iron pan over medium-high. Now form the patties. Each patty will be a heaping 1/2 cup of mixture. To get perfectly shaped patties, use a 3 1/2 inch cookie cutter or ring mold. Otherwise, just shape them into burgers with your hands.
Cook patties for about 12 minutes, flipping occasionally. Do two at a time if you’re pan isn’t big enough. Use a little spray olive or avocado oil if needed. Burgers should be charred at the edges and heated through.
Serve on a whole grain bun with all the fixin’s!