Food & dining

Recipe for vegetarian beet burgers


Serves 4

After a bit of trial and error, we created a vegetarian burger with beets, portobello mushrooms, white beans, and cooked brown rice that has a satisfying taste and texture.

1large red beet (unpeeled)
½portobello mushroom cap, thickly sliced
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2cloves garlic, chopped
½shallot, chopped
2sprigs thyme, stems
1teaspoon soy sauce
1can (15 ounces) white beans, drained
1tablespoon olive oil
2teaspoons cider vinegar
2teaspoons barbecue dry rub
1cup cooked brown rice, at room temperature
Juice of ¼ lemon
½cup panko
2tablespoons chopped fresh mint
4burger buns

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

2. Wrap the beet in foil, place it in a baking dish. Roast for 30 minutes or until it is starting to soften but still firm; cool. Peel the beet and cut it into cubes.


3. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the mushrooms. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Roast for 15 minutes.

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4. In a bowl, toss together beets, mushrooms, garlic, shallot, thyme, and soy sauce.

5. In a food processor, work the beans for 20 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, barbecue rub, salt, and pepper. Pulse 3 to 4 times. Add the beet mixture and pulse for 10 seconds or until the beets are incorporated but the mixture is still chunky. Add the rice and lemon juice and process 10 more seconds. Transfer to a bowl and fold in panko.

6. Shape mixture into 4 patties, place on a platter, cover, and freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.

7. In the grill, pour the charcoal so it piles up against one side of the kettle. Fill a charcoal chimney with hardwood lump charcoal, crumple two pieces of newspaper and stuff them below the coals. Light the newspaper. Wait about 10 minutes for the charcoal to become fully ignited. Flames should be just starting to peek through the top of the pile. Using heatproof gloves, pour the lit charcoal over the unlit charcoal.


8. Set burgers on the grill grate directly over the hot coals. Grill for 2 minutes. Turn and continue cooking 2 minutes more. Move the burgers to the cool side of the grate. Cover the grill and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

9. Meanwhile, slice the zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible, using a mandoline if you have one. Season the zucchini with olive oil and mint. Place the burgers on buns, add zucchini, and garnish with lettuce and ketchup. Adapted from “Wicked Good