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Red Quinoa and Beet Burgers

February 07, 2011 | Tags: Deborah Madison , Food , Vegetables | Post comment

Red Quinoa and Beet Burgers

The beets in this burger-like cake make them especially chewy and earthy. If you prefer a more delicate taste, leave them out. (You could serve a grated beet salad on the side, instead.)

Because quinoa has no gluten, flour and cheese are added to hold the grains into a cake. They still need to be handled very carefully, however, when you turn them and remove them from the pan.

Being a grain and delicate, this isn’t something to put between slices of bread, but to eat with a fork. It has plenty of flavor as is, but add condiments if you like. A salad makes a good second dish for supper.

Ingredients

8 ounces more or less, chard or beet greens, or twice as much spinach
1 ½ cups cooked quinoa, red, white, or black
2/3 cup grated skim mozzarella, about 2 ounces
1/3 cup crumbled feta or queso fresco, about 1 ounce
½ cup grated red beet (1 small beet)
1 egg
¼ cup white whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons finely diced onion or shallots
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
sunflower seed oil or olive oil for cooking

Preparation

If using beet greens, fold the leaves and tear out the stems first. Wash well. Drop them into a hot skillet with the water clinging to their leaves and cook until wilted. Drain into a colander and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water, though not compulsively. Turn onto a board and chop fairly finely.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, including about 3/8 teaspoon salt, and mix well. To check the seasonings, fry a little piece in some oil until crisp on both sides, then taste. Add more salt if needed.

Coat a wide non-stick skillet generously with oil and heat.  Pack the quinoa mixture into a half cup measure and gently turn it out onto your hand.  Place it in the pan, reduce heat to medium and cook 4 to 5 minutes.  Carefully turn it over and cook the second side.  The outer surfaces should be crisp and firm.

Taking care once more, remove the burgers to waiting plates and serve.

Makes 6  ½-cup burgers

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