Spring Veggie Burgers


You might think veggie burgers are just for people who don't eat meat.  That is, until you try these.  These freshly made garden burgers are rich in protein, fiber, and nutrients, and extremely satisfying.  They store well in the freezer and can be quickly warmed up in a toaster oven, skillet, or microwave. This recipe makes 2-3 dozen burgers, depending on size.


1 large beet root, grated 1 large kohlrabi bulb, peeled 1 leek 1 onion 3 carrots 8 oz wild mushrooms, whichever you like best 6 garlic cloves, peeled 1 bunch beet greens, chard or kale, finely chopped 1 bunch cilantro, chopped 1 cup nuts or seeds, ground (walnuts, pecans or pumpkin seeds work well) 3 eggs 1 cup red lentils (dry) 1 cup quinoa (dry) 3-4 slices of bread, toasted until completely dry, then ground in a blender or food processor. (Can substitute about 1/2 cup rice and almond flour and omit breadcrumbs if gluten-free) Juice from 1-2 lemons 1/2 cup canola oil 1 Tbs fennel seeds 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp cumin Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Cook lentils and quinoa according to packet directions.  (I like to use Rapunzel vegetable bouillon with sea salt and herbs to season the quinoa) The lentils are best if they are slightly under-done for this recipe. Let cool. Make breadcrumbs. This is another step, but it's pretty easy and there is no comparison between fresh and store-bought.  (You can make breadcrumbs in advance and freeze larger batches.) Chop all vegetables as small as possible, or use a food processor or grater.  If you like a softer texture to your burgers you can place the chopped or grated beet, kohlrabi, leek, carrots, and mushrooms in a skillet or pan with a little oil and a dash of salt and saute until the vegetables soften. Let cool. If you don't cook the veggies first, the texture is nicely varied and the veggies will stand out a little more.

Put all ingredients, except eggs, in a large bowl and mix with your hands to combine ingredients well.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Add eggs and mix well. You may need to add more flour if it is too wet.  It should be just dry enough to form into soft patties.

I usually use my hands to form the mixture.  If we are in a hurry, I fry the burgers with a little oil on medium-low heat for several minutes on each side.  Otherwise, you can bake them on a lightly oiled baking sheet for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Serve on a toasted bun with Lemon Tarragon Aioli and arugula, or try it with Auntie's Guacamole, or smother it with caramelized onions and melted Cumberland or Coppinger cheese.

Extra burgers can be frozen. Carefully place them in gallon sized freezer bags in one or two layers (with waxed paper between layers). Make sure to keep them flat at all times, and freeze on a shelf.