Sometimes it’s just a burger and fries kind of day. It’s actually been a longtime goal of mine to make veggie burgers and buns from scratch, so when I came across this simple and appealing recipe on VegHotPot, I was eager to try it out. Great tucked inside my favorite fluffy, sweet whole-wheat hamburger buns, with a handful of baby kale and chard, a few pickle slices, and a dollop of horseradish. (I’m on a horseradish kick at the moment.)
I was reminded why I usually steer clear of pan-frying however. In addition to using more oil than I’m used to and the risk of ending up with a gummy pan, it’s finnicky and takes forever. My final burger turned out perfectly, but the first two fell apart a bit, thankfully pretty easy to squish back together early in the process. The trick is to cook them on medium high heat, and leave them thicker rather than flattening them as thin and wide as a typical patty. They will still be soft and moist inside, the goal is just to get them crispy and firm enough on the outside that they hold as one. I had better success with the burger I made the next day after the batter had chilled overnight, and it was much simpler and more manageable to fry just one.
Since I ended up more or less doubling the original recipe and still have plenty of batter left, I think I might see if I can bake them instead. Or at least have multiple pans going at the same time.
All in all, a fun, pretty, and tasty experiment. Might make it again sometime as an occasional treat (especially if it works to bake them). If so, I’d like to try curry powder or another fiestier spice mix. The parsley and dill were a nice, subtle touch that really let the beet flavor shine, thoroughly delicious. But I think a bold flavor is most fitting for a burger.
Beet & Feta Burger
(Makes 8 burgers)
1 can garbanzos, or equivalent
About 10-12 oz beets, peeled (I used a container of boiled beets from the freezer)
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Half of a small onion, diced
1 tablespoon curry powder or seasoning of choice (I used fresh parsley, dill, and black pepper)
3 oz feta cheese
Mash the garbamzos in a medium bowl with a fork or potato masher. Grate beets into the bowl, then mix into garbanzos along with remaining ingredients. Form into patties on a plate and chill for at least 20 minutes. (Perfect time to get the potatoes into the oven if you’re making fries.) Fry the burgers in oil over medium high heat for 3-6 minutes on each side until holds together and lightely blackened. Enjoy with all the fixings!