Delicious Veggie Burger Recipe

Beets from my Willowsford CSA share. Yum.

Beets from my Willowsford CSA share. Yum.

The weather is gorgeous in Alexandria, Va. this morning, and so it feels like a burger kinda day — a veggie burger kinda day, that is. The following recipe comes from Mark Bittman’s essential tome How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and it’s actually called the “Hearty Winter Vegetable Burger.”

Of all of Bittman’s veggie burger recipes, this one is my favorite, and we eat it year round. It’s very easy to make, and my sources tell me that Cancer hates beets, which are the main ingredient. So mix up a batch, and smile with every bite knowing that you are making your body less hospitable to that ass Cancer. 🙂

Hearty Winter Burger

(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

1 lb                                                  beets

½ cup                                             packed pitted dates or dried plums (prunes)

½ cup                                             almonds

1 inch                                              peeled ginger, cut into coins

½ cup                                             bulgur

Salt and freshly ground pepper

¾ cup                                             boiling red wine or water

1 tablespoon                                  Dijon or other mustard

Cayenne or hot red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

A little                                             All-purpose flour, if needed, for binding

2 tablespoons                                extra virgin olive oil or butter


1. Combine the beets, dates, almonds, and ginger in a food processor and pulse several times until everything is well chopped but not quite a paste.

2. Put the mixture in a large bowl with the bulgur and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir in the boiling wine, mustard, and cayenne if you’re using it and cover the bowl with a plate. Let steep for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes if you can before shaping it into patties; if it seems too wet, stir in a little flour to help bind it. (You can make the bulgur mixture or even shape the burgers up to several hours in advance. Just cover tightly and refrigerate, then bring everything back to room temperature before cooking.)

3. Shape the mixture into 4 to 6 patties. Put the oil or butter in a skillet with a lid over medium heat. When the oil is hot or the butter is melted, carefully slip the burgers into the pan. Cook, undisturbed for 5 minutes or so, until nicely browned on the bottom; carefully flip the burger, cover, and cook the other side for 5 minutes.

4. Cool and refrigerate or freeze any leftovers for later use. (I usually make full batches and par-cook them so that we have burgers in the freezer when we want to barbeque. It’s a tastier and far healthier choice than the sodium-laden frozen veggie burgers in stores.)

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  1. Tracy Krulik says:

    Yes! It can be done with the right amount of flour for binding. And for grilling purposes, I partially bake them in the oven first. Then I can freeze or refrigerate leftovers easily as well as give them a solid foundation to stay together on the grill.

    I ordered a new veggie burger book from Amazon yesterday. Much grilling is coming our way. 🙂

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