Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beet Burger Deluxe!


After an amazing three day weekend in sunny southern California it was quite a shock to arrive back to 60 degrees, dense fog and drizzling rain in San Francisco. The view driving over the Bay Bridge into the fog on Monday night looked like we were entering a different planet. After a Tuesday of playing catch up at work I was fully ready for something warm and comforting for dinner so I decided to make a modified version of a cheeseburger and fries. One of my favorite cafes in San Francisco is called "The Plant" and specializes in organic fresh cuisine. Their menu includes some truly tasty vegan and vegetarian food including a veggie burger that many a meat-eater have admitted is delicious. This is definitely not your hashbrown-style gardenburger. It has texture, depth, protein and moisture. I don't know exactly what they put in it but I know it has beets (from it's crazy red hue) and cashews (from the allergy warnings) so I have been dying to try to re-create it at home. Tonight I took a first stab at my own version and it turned out great! I'm not sure it was quite as amazing as the Plant's but it tasted great and satisfied me and my carnivorous husband who is much more discriminating when it comes to vegetarian cuisine!

I ate mine bread-less with a big side of my turnip fries and Nic had his on grilled bread...

You'll need a food processor but otherwise this recipe is SUPER easy and quite inexpensive. Try it out for yourself or make it for any vegetarian 4th of July companions!

My Beet Burger - inspired by The Plant Organic Cafe
-Makes 2 big burgers

Ingredients:
1/3 cup unsalted raw cashews
1/3 canned beets (drained)
1/2 cup black beans (drained)
1/2 cup panko flakes
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tespoon salt
1/2 teasoonp pepper
1 teaspoon italian seasoning

Optional Toppings
Ketchup and/or Mustard
Sliced Cheese - we used goat cheddar
Sliced Pickles -mmmm that would have been good, next time!
Toasted Bread or Bun - I would recommend toasted wheat bread of course :)

Directions:
-Put the cashews in the food processor and process them until the consistancy is very fine, almost powdery
-Add the beets and black beans in the food procesor and pulse on chop until the cashews, beets and beans are mixed into a chunky mixture. Do not overmix into a puree - it should still be thick and have a good amount of texture.
-Scoop the mixture out of the food processor into a bowl
-Add the egg, mustard, seasonings and panko to the bowl and mix everything together
-Refrigerate the mixture in the bowl for 20 minutes to an hour. This will help thicken it up a bit so it's easier to cook.
-After 20 minutes or so divide the mixture into two lumps.
-Put a frying pan over medium high heat and spray with Pam
-After 20 minutes or so divide the mixture into two lumps.
-The mixture will be sticky but clump each lump into a ball and pat down on pan in the shape of a patty to cook
-Cook the patty for about 7 or 8 minutes until you can see the bottom edges are cooked - then flip over with a spatula.
-If you want a "cheeseburger" put your cheese slices on the cooked side now.
-Cook for another 5-6 minutes until the cheese is melted and both sides are browned.
Serve alone or on toast with a little ketchup and mustard and you are good to go!!!

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