Many thanks to Wendy for having me guest post on her beautiful site! I’m Alanna, the recovering pastry chef behind The Bojon Gourmet, and lover of the Andean super-grain.
I’m happy to share a favorite quinoa recipe today: Quinoa, Beet and Chickpea Burgers. These burgundy beauties have a delicate texture, with the earthy flavors of beets, beans, and grains all bound together with a little egg and oats, and laced with lemon and parsley.
I like to make my own buns (Honey Oat Beer Buns shown here) as they are heads and tails above store-bought, but you can also forgo the bread altogether and serve this with a little yogurt sauce and a salad.
- The burger mixture:
- 1/2 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked 8 hours or overnight (or one 14 ounce can of cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup raw quinoa (white or multi)
- 3 medium-sized red beets (about 10 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2-4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- zest from 1/2 a medium lemon
- juice of 1 medium lemon
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup quick (baby) oats
- For serving:
- several tablespoons of light olive oil, for frying the burgers
- 6 buns (such as Honey Oat Beer Buns), halved and toasted
- mustard, mayonnaise, avocado, thinly sliced red onion, sprouts, or other toppings of your choice
- Cook the beans: Drain the soaked chickpeas and place them in a medium saucepan with the bay leaf. Cover with 3 inches of water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are almost tender. At this point, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the pot. Continue cooking until the beans are very tender, but not falling apart. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour total, depending on the size and age of the beans. Add water to the pan as needed. When the beans are done, let them cool in their water until needed. If you like, you can slip the loose skins off the beans, though this isn't necessary.
- Cook the quinoa: Place the quinoa in a very fine mesh strainer, place the strainer in a bowl or measuring cup, and fill with water to cover the quinoa. Let soak 5-10 minutes, swishing occasionally, to rinse off the bitter coating. The water will turn a beige-yellow. Drain the quinoa well, discard the soaking water, and place the quinoa in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to very low, cover the pot, and let the quinoa steam until tender and all the water is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, until ready to use.
- Cook the veg: Peel the beets with a potato peeler, then grate them on the large holes of a box grater. The beets will spray, so wear an apron and have your work area clear of things you don't want covered in tiny red specks. Heat the oil in a wide saute pan (that has a lid that you will use later) over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic, the grated beets, and a big pinch of salt. Give it a stir, then cover the pan and let the mixture cook, stirring occasionally, until the beet is tender, 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and deglaze by adding the vinegar and stirring up any good stuff that is stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Make the burgers: In a large bowl, combine the cooked chickpeas, quinoa and beet mixture and mash with a potato masher to break up the beans slightly - the mixture should still be fairly chunky. Stir in the parsley, lemon zest and juice, egg, oats, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined.
- Cook the burgers: Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions (a large spring-loaded scoop works well) and shape into 1" thick rounds. Coat the bottom of a wide skillet with oil and heat over a medium flame until the oil shimmers. Carefully add the burger patties. Cook until the first side is golden, 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook on the second side until it is golden and the burger is cooked through, 2-3 minutes, reducing the heat if the burger is browning too quickly.
- Serve the burgers on toasted buns slathered in any toppings you like.
Alanna is a freelance writer, food photographer, and recovering pastry chef based in San Francisco, and the mastermind behind the acclaimed recipe blog The Bojon Gourmet. (Bojon, or “no job” backwards, is not just a state of unemployment, but a state of mind. Read more about the Tao of Bojon here.) Follow Alanna on Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin or Pinterest.