I am as much a carnivore as the next caveman. However, there have been some amazing development in the world of food. This Quinoa Beet Burger is just one of these developments. I was shocked by how easy it was to master and that, unlike most vegetarian foods, it didn’t require a million ingredients to get flavor infused into this beef replacement. Try this version for you and your mountain man around his annual physical.
Smoky Quinoa Beet Burger
- 3 T. grapeseed/extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (very roughly chopped)
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup grated beets
- 3 cloves garlic (smashed)
- 2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 cup cooked green lentils
- 1 egg
- 2 cups cooked short grain brown (or white rice)
- // feta spread //
- 1 cup/ 8 oz. feta cheese
- 1/4 cup whole milk greek yogurt
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- few grinds fresh ground pepper
- buns (sliced cucumber, microgreens, tomato for burger building)
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes until just golden. Add the walnuts, raisins, beets, garlic and paprika and cook another 10 minutes, stirring often. Let the mix cool slightly. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse a few times until chunky.
- Put the mixture in a large bowl and stir in the salt, pepper and half the lentils. Replace the food processor (dirty is fine) and pulse the other half of the lentils, egg and rice together a few times to make a coarse puree. Note: Louisa has you add all the lentils whole to the mixture, I felt like some of them in the rice puree helps it all hold. Add the rice mixture to the onion mixture and mix well.
- Make the feta spread by mixing all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Use lightly oiled hands to form 8-10 small patties just under 1” thick.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or cast iron over medium-high heat and add oil to coat the bottom. Place the burgers in the skillet (doing so in batches if necessary) and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. GENTLY flip the burgers, turn the heat down, cover and cook for 10 minutes until the burgers have a firm, brown crust.
- Serve warm with your favorite condiments.