Vegan Pinto Bean–Beet Burgers
Why This Recipe Works
Vegan burgers are often bean-based; starchy, protein-packed beans taste great, hold together well, and are satisfying. Looking for a modern twist on the typical bean burger, we combined pinto beans with vibrant shredded beets, and we also packed in a generous amount of basil leaves. The result was a substantial but fresh-tasting burger with some sweetness from the beets and the bright, complementary aroma of basil. Learning from our Lentil and Mushroom Burgers (page 112), we incorporated bulgur for heft and ground nuts for meaty richness. Garlic and mustard deepened the savory flavors. While the bulgur cooked, we pulsed the other ingredients in the food processor to just the right consistency. To bind the burgers, we turned to a surprising ingredient: carrot baby food. The carrot added tackiness, and its subtle sweetness heightened that of the shredded beets; plus, it was already conveniently pureed. Panko bread crumbs further bound the mixture and helped the patties sear up with a crisp crust.