the letter b isn’t my favorite letter in the alphabet (yes, i really do have one), but you very well might think it is from the name of this recipe and post — which, by the way, is alternatively titled “beets, bears, battlestar galactica“. and i apologize to anyone that hates alliteration, because i’m about to get really annoying.
this recipe all came together with the inspiration from two beety bean burger recipes and a bag of black beans begging to be boiled (not to mention the fact that i’ve been basically bummin being bez bean burgers). the first beet burger beanspiration i found was from bonjon gourmet, who found beet burger beanspiration from the kitchn, who found beet burger beanspiration from a bistro. in brief — beets and beans belong together.
but as though beets + beans + burger wasn’t enough alliteration for me, i decided to throw in some buckwheat. i very well could have added quinoa like one recipe suggests (which i bet would be as brilliant), but i since i already had some buckwheat in the fridge — another b it was.
there is one b word missing from this equation — buns. you know, the kind that are round, slightly firm, but bounce back when tapped. i’m talking about burger buns! but since ukraine doesn’t believe in burgers, i couldn’t just buy them at the bakery and baking them would have been a real b (not the letter, but that one bad word) i decided to look real cool/poor/un-culinary frat boyish and eat my burger on bread. don’t judge me.
this recipe definitely takes some prepping and the length of the ingredient list may look intimidating, but cooking the beans, beets, buckwheat can all be done ahead of time. plus, it gives you time to think of clever beet puns (you beety believe it! i’ll beet you too it! i like my burgers like i like my men — nice ‘n beety). the actual ‘brining the burger together’ part doesn’t take much time at all.
the burgers stayed together quite nicely (i had to add just a tad bit of flour after i tested out the first patty) and cooking them in a cast iron skillet gave it a nice somewhat sweet crunchy crust. in all the years that i’d been vegetarian, i was never brave enough to bust out a burger, i let boca do that for me. never again! (okay, maybe now and then). but really, this burger blew me away. hot off the griddle i began a bean ‘n beet burger binge, bewildered by my (borrowed) brilliancy. b.b.b.b burger — we shall meet again.
beet, black bean, buckwheat burger
also known as ‘the b.b.b.b. veggie burger’
makes 8-10 burgers patties
- 1 cup dried black beans
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 large beets (about the size of a baseball) cooked, peeled, grated
- 1/2 cup uncooked buckwheat
- 1 cup corn
- 1 onion, diced small
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbs parsley, minced
- 1 tbs cider vinegar
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp red pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsps oregano
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 2 tbs all-purpose flour
for the black beans:
soak dried black beans overnight or for at least 6 hours (do not place in fridge). when ready to cook, rinse beans and place in casserole pot. cover with a few inches of water and add two bay leaves. bring the water to a boil, then reduce to (low) simmer and cook until beans are tender. (they’ll squish easily between your fingers. this may take 45-60 minutes). add more water as necessary but do NOT add salt while they are cooking. salt will prevent the beans from fully absorbing water and will leave them semi-uncooked.
when done, drain, rinse, and set aside. if cooking the night before, place in a container with some water until ready to use.
for the beets:
bring a large pot of water to a boil. toss in beets leaving the skin and ‘tails’ of the beets on. boil for about 45 minutes – 1 hour or until fork tender (time will vary depending on density of the beet and season in which it was harvested). once tender remove from pot and place in bowl of cold water for a few minutes. when cooled peel and finely grate beets (be sure to wear an apron!).
for the buckwheat:
rinse dried buckwheat prior to cooking. in a small saucepan of 1 cup of water to a boil. add rinsed buckwheat, reduce heat, and simmer covered, and stir occasionally. cook until water is gone and buckwheat is ‘fluffy’, about 5-10 minutes.
for the burger:
1.) heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet on medium heat and saute onions until translucent. add garlic and cooked beet and saute for 5 minutes. turn off heat, then add the cider vinger and stir.
2.) in a large mixing bowl, combine cooked black beans and buckwheat. mash well with a potato masher. combine parsley, corn, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg, oats, spices to bean mixutre and mix well.
3.) add beet mixture to bean mixture, stirring well. add flour (check consistency of first patty to see if more is needed).
4.) heat cast-iron skillet once again on a medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. with your hands, scoop out about 1 cup of patty mixture, form a patty with your palms and place in skillet. cook each side for about 3-4 minutes or until slightly golden brown. be sure patties do not cook too quickly.
5.) serve beety bean buckwheat burger on bun or bread (like me!) add your favorite toppings (avocado is quite good with this) and enjoy!
[next time, i’ll try and make it a vegan version by substituting the egg with a mixture of flaxseed and water. if you try this let me know!]
[also, if you can’t eat all 8 – 10 burgers at once (but really, you might want to), you can bag them individually and freeze them. or refrigerate them up to a week and re-heat them in the skillet.]
this post was brought to you by the letter b.