Nordic Beetroot Burgers with Goats’ Cheese and Walnut Salad
I’ve developed a bit of a beetroot fetish since moving to Sweden. I find it’s always on my shopping list and seems to leave its scarlet mark on almost every dish I cook. I love the muddy flavour and mellow sweetness and would be very sad if there was ever a world shortage of beetroot. One of the reasons I like it so much now is that I used to hate it when I was younger. I’ve got bitter-sweet memories of hating the overly pickled taste of my grandmother’s beetroot but loved the fact that it came, covered in sandy soil, from their kitchen garden. Now, whenever I eat beetroot I remember my grandparents and their staggering vegetable patch and hanker after having one of my own one day.
Veggie burgers have a very bad press. They normally fall apart and taste more of old oil than of anything pleasant. It strikes me as a shame to mush up lots of lovely vegetables and then muddy the fresh flavours in search of the juicy glory of a really meaty burger. But the beauty of beetroot burgers is that they are singularly focused on one vegetable that responds very well to being “burgered up”. I guess it’s a combination of their vivid flavour and colour, but also the fact that beetroot’s starches caramelise nicely when seared, much like meat does.
This recipe for the burgers is from Trina Hahnemann, but without any ghastly rapeseed oil and rather than a barley salad is paired with a goats’ cheese and walnut salad instead. My only question is what are the mystery seeds in the photo from the book at the top of this post because they don’t appear in the recipe?
For the beetroot burgers:
500g red beetroot, grated 100ml porridge oats 3 eggs 1 shallot, very finely chopped 4 tbsp finely chopped dill 2 tbsp finely chopped thyme 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying Crème fraiche and dill dollop
For the salad:
Mixed leaf salad including beetroot tops Goats’ cheese Toasted walnuts Honey, mustard, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dress
Peel the beetroot and then finely grate. If you have a Magimix I’d suggest you use it as it saves a lot of time.
Mix the grated beetroot with the eggs, porridge oats, herbs, seasoning and shallots. Get your hands dirty and work it all together. Then chill in the fridge for an hour or so. This is important as it allows the mixture to mingle and means that the burgers have more structural integrity.
Form the burgers into patties and fry until they are crisp on the outside and then finish in the oven for 20 minutes.
Assemble the salad, and whisk up the dressing whilst the burgers are cooking through and serve with a dollop of dill crème fraiche.
I’ve got a feeling they would also work well as “beet-balls” but I’m not sure yet what sauce to slosh on top of them. If you’ve got any ideas, let me know.
We still love to go on trips around the UK, staying in BnBs or camping in search of a good meal or two - hence, Around Britain with a Paunch. Quite often the trips have been prompted by Diana Henry's Gastro Pub Cookbook. Here's where we've been to: