Calling all Vegans! Margot's Vegan Burger

Makes 8 burgers. Let me preface this with, I am not a vegan nor am I a big beet fan, but these are amazing! If you are a PBS follower, this is from America's Test Kitchen. Naturally, I replaced the panko crumbs from the original recipe with Margot's Morsels Simply Sea Salt. Just so you know, Killer Garlic and Rockin' Rosemary are also vegan.

  • Salt and pepper
  • ⅔ cup medium-grind bulgur, rinsed
  • 1 large beet (9 ounces), peeled and shredded
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar carrot baby food...yes, baby food!
  • 1-2 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 ½ cups Margot's Morsels Simply Sea Salt, fine crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra as needed for cooking
  • 8 burger buns

SHOPPING NOTE: Don't confuse bulgur with "cracked wheat," which has a much longer cooking time and will not work in this recipe. And yes, one of those small jars of baby food has the stickiness to hold your burger together and just a touch of sweetness that adds so much.

INSTRUCTIONS

In a small saucepan, bring 1½ cups water and ½ teaspoon salt to boil. Take the off heat, stir in bulgur, cover, and let stand until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain bulgur then spread onto rimmed baking sheet to cool, slightly.

Use a coarse grater or the shredding disk of a food processor to shred the beets. In the bowl of your food processor: pulse beet, walnuts, basil, and garlic until finely chopped, about 12 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl, as needed. Add beans, carrot baby food, 2 tablespoons water, mustard, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and pulse until well combined, about 8 pulses. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in morsel crumbs and cooled bulgur. About the beans: I would lean more toward black beans but pinto do provide the right color and the texture is no different.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and pack into 3½-inch-wide patties. ATK had a clever trick for this...while the mixture is in the bowl mark the mixture with your spatula in half, then half again, and again; and you'll end up with 8 equal wedges, then scoop them out and shape them into equal burgers.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Gently lay 4 patties in skillet and cook until crisp and well browned on first side, about 4 minutes. Gently flip patties and cook until crisp and well browned on second side, about 4 minutes, adding extra oil if skillet looks dry. 

Transfer burgers to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and repeat with remaining 3 tablespoons oil and remaining patties. Transfer to buns and serve.

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