Smoky beet burgers with onion relish
These easy, earthy beet burgers can be made whatever size you like—larger patties for bigger appetites or mini-burgers for little ones. Beets are a fantastic mood booster, as they contain the compound betaine, which increases the production of serotonin. Quinoa adds extra protein, so these burgers are really well balanced. The burgers can be frozen, uncooked, for up to six weeks in an airtight container; defrost them in the fridge before cooking.
MAKES 6 LARGE BURGERS | Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes to chill | Cooking time: 1 hour
For the onion relish (or use a good-quality, store-bought one)
a glug of olive oil
2 small red onions, chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
a cinnamon stick
For the burgers
a glug of olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3½ oz mushrooms, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup precooked quinoa (or cook 3 tbsp dried quinoa according to the package instructions)
7 oz raw beets, grated (about 3 or 4 beets)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 fresh chile, chopped ( optional )
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp raw walnuts, crushed
6 burger buns, pitas, or wraps
First make the onion relish. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and cook the red onions for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and vinegar and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Add the cloves and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring regularly, until reduced to yummy sticky relish. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick (if you can find them!) and set aside.
To make the burgers, heat a little oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the red onion and cook until softened. Turn up the heat to medium and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the beans. Mash, leaving some texture, then add the quinoa, grated beets, paprika, chile (if using), and walnuts, and mix thoroughly to combine.
With wet hands, form into whatever size burgers you like. Cover and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up (if you have time). Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Put the burgers on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes, flipping over at the halfway mark. Serve in a bun, pita, or a wrap with salad and onion relish.