I would love, love, love to say that spring has arrived here in Connecticut and while daffodils have sprung and the fuzzy green bases of May poppies march alongside the garage, the air still carries an aftertaste of winter. Without a doubt, the yearning for spring is in the air. With tree buds and voices alike, everyone seems to want to know, where is spring?
Easter did not feel quite like Easter this year, for an egg hunt outside certainly would have required jackets at the very least, pale green flats look silly and premature and my white pants continue to crouch in the very back of spring clothes bin.
I am trying to be patient, the square foot garden frame sits idle and empty in the backyard, while sprouts thrive under the glow of 18 hours of artificial light indoors.
As my lunch companions may tell you, I am still on a kick of salads topped with warmth these days. The latest concoction boasts a handmade beet burger.
While the pink tinge seems to linger on my palms despite several scrubbing sessions, the bouquet of flavors and textures quickly reminds me how rewarding a homemade veggie burger can be. This was also an opportunity to use up some of the red wheat berries and sprouted lentils from last week’s farmer’s market excursion.
Lightly adapted from Sprouted Kitchen and The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia.
Makes 8 to 10 patties, freezing the extra patties, highly encouraged.
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup grated beets
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup sprouted lentils (like I said, I used a mixture, including wheat berries.
2 cups cooked brown rice
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Add in chopped onion and cook until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add in walnuts, raisins, grated beets, garlic, paprika and cook for about 10 more minutes. Allow mixture to cool slightly and transfer to a food processor. Pulse several times, until garlic is adequately minced and a chunky consistency is reached.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl and mix in pepper, salt and half of the lentil/wheat berry mixture. In the food processor, pulse the other half of the lentil/wheat berries, egg, and rice a few times, until you have a coarse puree. Add rice mixture to beet mixture and mix until combined.
Form mixture into 1” thick patties and cook in a skillet, drizzled with olive oil, over medium heat. Cook until each side has achieved a browned, firm crust.
A word of caution, the patties are fairly fragile, try to leave them undisturbed while browning up in the pan until it is time to flip them.
Serve warm with veggies on a bun or atop a salad of mixed greens and cheese as I did.