This has been a great year for us for carrots and beets! Here's another great way to use a lot of them up. This recipe is adapted from Farmer John's Cookbook by John Peterson (Gibbs Smith, 2006). I worked at Farmer John's 1200-member CSA farm in Illinois in 2005 before coming out to Chelan in 2006.
We just got a new shipment of Farmer John's Cookbook in the market, so pick one up if you don't have one already. It's along the same lines as the A to Z cookbook, but with a little more sophistication and lots of fun photos and anecdotes about life on the farm.
This recipe takes veggie burgers to a whole new level. Sweet beets and carrots give luscious flavor to the patties—together with pungent onion, snappy cheddar cheese and lots of toasty nuts and seeds. If you dislike frying, you will appreciate this recipe, which calls for baking the patties in the oven.
Farmer John's Beet and Carrot Burgers
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups peeled grated beets (1-2 medium beets)
2 cups grated carrots (about 4 carrots)
1/2 cup minced onion (about 1 medium onion)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Butter or oil for greasing the baking sheet.
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Place a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir them on the dry skillet just until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning them. Immediately remove from heat and transfer the toasted seeds to a dish to cool.
3. Return the skillet to the heat. Add the sunflower seeds and stir them on the dry skillet just until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning them. Immediately transfer them to the dish with the sesame seeds.
4. Combine the beets, carrots, and onion in a large bowl. Stir in the toasted sunflower and sesame seeds, eggs, rice, cheddar cheese, oil, flour, parsley, soy sauce or tamari, and garlic. Add cayenne and mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 12 patties and arrange them in rows on the baking sheet.
6. Bake the patties until brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Unless they are very large and thick, it should not be necessary to flip them.
Makes 12 patties.