Lentil and beetroot veggie burgers

(read in Italian)

If there are two ingredients that I really love paired together, are beetroots and nut or seed butter: the recipe for these simple plant-based beetroot burgers calls exactly for this delicious combination.

Lentil and beetroot veggie burgers (recipe and photos from amatterofnourishment.com)

With a great balance of ingredients, these veggie burgers are tasty eaten on their own along with a salad, but they will give their best when placed in a homemade fluffy brioche-style bun… even better if there’s a bit of spicy sauce, too!

There are just a few simple guidelines that will help you to make these hearty vegan burgers:

  • grated beetroots vs blended beetroot paste: I’ve used both and I’m a huge fan of grated beets – this option will give your burgers with the best texture, less dry or mushy, and richer in flavour (but yes, blending the beetroots with the other ingredients it’s definitely a quicker choice).
  • cooked vs raw beets: obviously, there’s a difference in the final texture and taste, but it’s less marked compared to the previous point. Cooked beetroots tend to give you burgers that are a bit more dry (especially if they are roasted), while raw beets may be a bit more tricky to use due to the water content. The cooked vs raw dilemma is the same you would have for making beetroot hummus!
  • pan vs oven: be sure to add a bit of olive oil on the top and bottom of your burgers if you cook them in the oven and don’t overcook them, otherwise they will be too dry. Pan-seared with olive oil are delicious, too!
  • the kind of lentils: this recipe calls for the brown ones but you could potentially use any kind of lentils – I recommend you to overcook a bit the smaller ones (like the ones I use in this salad with blueberries) and to be careful with the water content if you use red split lentils (be sure that they are dry before adding them to the mix; no need to blend them since they will naturally tend to form a kind of creamy paste, but you’ll need to adjust the amount of oats).

HOW TO SERVE THEM?

Serve the burgers with a salad or in a bun: they pair really well with some hummus, a spicy sauce, or a creamy avocado sauce. Here I’ve paired them with green salad leaves, a sauce made with almond butter, a bit of rocket, and some spiced white cabbage.

Lentil and beetroot veggie burgers (recipe and photos from amatterofnourishment.com)
Lentil and beetroot veggie burgers (recipe and photos from amatterofnourishment.com)

LENTIL AND BEETROOT VEGGIE BURGERS

Ingredients (makes 6-7 burgers)

  • 300 g raw grated beetroots
  • 250 g brown lentils or 200 g red split lentils (previously cooked – no water left)
  • approx. 40 g rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats if necessary)
  • 2-3 tbsp whole grain flour (adjust the amount of flour based on the water content of your ingredients – you can use any kind of flour)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (even better if it’s a crunchy nut butter)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • a pinch of salt

Place the lentils, oats, and oil in a blender and break them down into smaller pieces: you can decide if you prefer a more homogeneous result or if you like to keep some bigger pieces in there. In a bowl, combine together this mix, the grated beetroots, and all the other ingredients.

Using a bit of oil on your hands, prepare the burgers and cook them in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil or in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for approx. 10-5 minutes or until they start to turn darker and they will be firm on the outside. Don’t overcook these burgers because they tend to become dry quite easily.

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