Makes 5 OR 6 “Burgers”
Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour
Do Ahead: Roast beets
Who else but a French chef would have the idea to serve beets like raw beef? The inspiration for this surprising beet “tartare” burger—named more for its presentation than the method, since we are cooking the beets—comes from Chef Pascal Bonhomme of Pascalou, a bistro on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where I have worked. You’ll need 4-ounce ramekins, though you can also cook in batches with fewer ramekins or using a metal ½-cup measuring cup. This is good with any variety of beets— red, gold, or Chioggia—but you’ll only get the true “tartare” effect with the dark purple ones.
5 medium beets, scrubbed clean and
trimmed of stems and fibrous roots
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 egg white
1 small shallot, minced
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon potato starch or cornstarch
6 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Additional fresh tarragon leaves and minced shallot for garnish
1. Roast the beets: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the beets on a square of aluminum foil and rub with the oil. Wrap tightly in the foil. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until completely tender. Cool completely. Peel the beets and chop into small dice—approximately ¹⁄ 8 -inch.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg white, shallot, vinegar, tarragon, and potato starch. Fold in the diced beets.
3. Line the bottom of each (4-ounce) ramekins with a small circle of parchment paper. Using your fingers, grease the sides of each ramekin and its parchment with a bit of olive oil. Pack each ramekin with the beet mixture, leveling off the top for a fat surface. Depending on the size of your beets, you will have enough to fill either 5 or 6 ramekins.
4. Cover each ramekin with microwave-safe plastic wrap and microwave for 1 minute until firmed. Alternatively, steam the ramekins: Bring ½ inch water to a simmer in a stockpot or saucepan with a colander or steaming basket insert. In batches if necessary, add the ramekins, cover, and steam the beet “burgers” for 3 minutes, until the mixture congeals.
5. Let the ramekins cool to room temperature. (At this stage they can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.) Run a thin, sharp knife around the perimeter of a ramekin to loosen the beet mixture and invert onto a serving plate. It will come out in a single patty-shaped piece. Remove the parchment. Repeat with the remaining ramekins.
6. To serve, top each “burger” with 1 tablespoon of goat cheese and black pepper to taste. Garnish with a few sprigs of tarragon and some minced shallot.
Recipe from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way: Fresh, Flavorful and Healthy Vegan and Vegetarian Burgers—Plus Toppings, Sides, Buns and More Copyright © Lukas Volger, 2010. Photographs copyright © Christina Heaston, 2010. Reprinted by the permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com.