This week I'm sharing these flavourful and vibrant beet "patties". In my opinion, what makes them beyond delicious and different is the addition of fresh dill that pairs perfectly with the earthy flavour of the beets. I have to say that dill is by far my favorite herb; unfortunately I don’t use it nearly enough in my recipes! Well, in this recipe, dill and beets sure are the real stars!
When I wrote this recipe, I struggled to find the right name for it. I finally decided to call them "patties", but I also could've named them "beet cakes", "beet burgers" or "beet fritters". They are gluten-free and vegan, firm but not dry and they are made with shredded beets, chickpeas, dill and quinoa. I also included the green, leafy portion of the beet, because it's so good! It has a taste and texture similar to spinach so if your beet leaves do not look so fresh, go ahead and use spinach instead (you could also use kale or swiss chard too). By the way, I strongly encourage you to keep your beet leaves. Ever since the day I discovered that they were edible, they became among my favourite greens! And I also love the idea of using all parts of an ingredient and reducing the wastes in my kitchen.
Note that if you don't particularly like dill, you can replace it with fresh parsley. You can also add some crumbled feta cheese in the mixture for a salty touch.
This recipe requires a few steps and may seem "fancy", but don't let that stop you from trying it! First of all, you will get almost twenty patties... and they freeze very well! Also, they even taste better after they’d sat for a day in the refrigerator... the flavors are more intense. They also taste surprisingly good cold! Having them on hand ready to eat for easy and nutritious weekdays meals is for sure an added bonus to me and it's worth the efforts! You'll have a healthy meal loaded with folate, fiber, potassium, vitamins and proteins. Besides, the beet pigment, called betalain, potentially have a strong antioxydant.
Here are my suggestions on how to serve and enjoy these patties :
- The Burger : As is or in a burger bun with slices of ripe avocado, baby sprouts, mayonnaise or "vegenaise". Or try to shape them into mini burgers for a cute and irresistible appetizer!
- The gluten-free lettuce "wrap" : serve the patties in a large butter lettuce leaf with fresh tzatziki. So simple and fresh!
- The spinach & egg salad : Over a spring salad or baby spinach salad, topped with a fried or poached egg and sprouts.
- The "falafel pita" : The patties remind me of chickpeas "falafels", so I also enjoy eating them in a pita bread with tzatziki (or hummus), slices of fresh goat feta, red onions and lettuce. If you want, you can shape the mixture into balls instead of patties.
Speaking of tzatziki... have you ever tried this sauce ? It's a greek sauce, made of thick (or strained) yogurt, shredded cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, salt, lemon juice and fresh herbs (like dill, mint or parsley). I usually do mine with my favourite sheep's yogurt, but I also like to do a vegan version. I've included the two versions and I have to say they are both lovely! I like to keep the rest of the sauce to replace mayonnaise in sandwiches, to spread in a savoury buckwheat crepe or to serve as a dip with raw vegetables, a snack that my kids enjoy a lot!
Quinoa, beet, checkpeas & dill "patties"
Yield : 18-20 patties
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or 2 cups cooked quinoa)
- 4 cups beets, peeled and shredded (with the largest hole of your grater)
- 28 onces cooked chickpeas (2 x 15 ounce cans), drained and rinsed
- 1 cup oats blended into flour (or 1 cup oat flour) or garbanzo flour or fine breadcrumbs
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax + 6 tablespoons water) or 2 organic eggs
- 2 teaspoons sea salt (or less if you add feta cheese to the mixture)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Tzatziki (2 ways : vegan or non vegan)
- NON VEGAN : 1,5 cup sheep's yogurt or greek yogurt (as long as it's a thick yogurt) OR for the VEGAN TZATZIKI : blend 2 cups of soaked cashews (at least 4 hours) + 2 tablespoons tahini in a high speed blender + 1/4-1/3 water
- 1/2 cucumber (around 1 cup shredded), peeled and seeded
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Juice of 3 lemons
- Zest of 1 organic lem on
- 2 tablespoons ol ive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
For the patties:
- If you're doing the vegan tzatziki, soak your cashews at least 4 hours.
- Preheat your oven at 375F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium pan, cook the quinoa (follow the instructions or the package). I use a 1 quinoa : 2 water and cook the quinoa for 15 minutes (bring to boil, reduce to low heat and cover for 15 minutes).
- In a large skillet, add the olive oil with the onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the shredded beets and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the beets become soft. Add the salt, balsamic vinegar and turn off the heat.
- Stir in the chickpeas and crush with a potato masher (not completely, you still want to see chunks of chickpeas!). Add your cooked quinoa, oat flour along with the fresh dill and mix well to combine. Stir in the flax eggs or organic eggs. Season to taste with black pepper.
- Shape the patties with your hands. I use a measuring cup (1/3 cup) to shape the mixture. Place on your baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the patties one by one and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.
- See my serving suggestions above :)
For the tzatziki :
- Grate the cucumber with the largest hole of your grater. Place in a strainer and press hard with your palm until all the liquid is mostly drained (be sure to keep that precious cucumber juice for your green smoothie!).
- If your doing the vegan version : blend the soaked cashews, tahini butter and water until smooth and creamy. You may add more water if the texture is not creamy enough.
- In a bowl, add the cucumber to the yogurt or cashew yogurt.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Correct the seasoning to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and store the leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days.