My latest CSA boxes have contained massive beets, so I’ve been preparing a whole lot of red food lately.
If you’re not familiar with the term CSA, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The general idea is that farmers offer a portion of “shares” from their farm to the public. It’s a great way to enjoy a bounty of seasonal fruits and vegetables, delivered to your doorstep, and support your local farmers.
Here in LA, I receive my delivery from Farm Fresh to You, which provides the option for me to select which fruits and veggies I like and which I do not want sent to me. I can also decide from a variety of different box options, including mixed fruit and veggie, no cooking, veggie only, or fruit only.
Even though I have the luxury of going to a Farmers Market at least once a week, I still like to get a delivery once a month. It makes me feel like a kid on Christmas, unwrapping a surprise, since the contents are dependent on what has been growing on the farm that week. The surprise fruits and veggies offer an opportunity for creativity in the kitchen and a whole lot of impulse cooking.
When I pulled the giant beets from the box, I knew there’d be a lot more going on than just plain old roasting and juicing. I mean these things were so big, I’d probably have a gallon of beet juice on my hands! And that’s only a slight exaggeration.
One of my favorite recipes to come out of my beet experiments is Ginger Beet Burgers. I always have ginger on hand, so this combo was nearly a given. The spice of the ginger is a great compliment to the sweet earthiness of the beets. Plus, if you want to fool a meat eater, the red patty is almost convincing enough to stand in for a regular burger. Although, far better for your health, the animals and the planet.
Ginger Beet Burgers
1 Cup shredded beet
1″ piece of ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoons tahini
1 Tablespoon Bragg’s or tamari
1/4 teaspoon dijon
1 can kidney beans
3/4 Cups cooked rice
1/2 Cup oats
1. Add the shredded beet, ginger, garlic, tahini, tamari and dijon to the bowl of a food processor and create a chunky paste.
2. Next, add the kidney beans, rice and oats. Pulse until well combined and mostly mashed. Some chunks and pieces are fine, but you want to be able to form them into patties. Roll some of the mixture into a ball; if it holds its form, it’s ready, if it falls apart, process a little more.
3. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, form the mixture into equal sized patties by pressing into the cup, then tapping out and shaping into tight patties.
4. Cook the burgers. On the stove top: cook in a well oiled skillet for about 5 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. In the oven: preheat to 350; arrange patties on a parchment lined baking sheet and spray or drizzle with a small amount of oil. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping after the first 10 minutes. The patties will firm as they cool a little. They should also hold up great on a grill!
Also by Christine: Vegan Almond Joy
Photo: Christine Oppenheim