Quinoa and black bean burgers with quick-pickled root parsley

I love a good burger and when it comes to veggie burgers, the flavour possibilities are endless. Half a year ago I introduced my almond and chickpea burgers, so my youngest and I could join our meat eating family members on burger nights. They’ve been a firm favourite ever since, tasting so good that these days our carnivorous relatives prefer them to beef as well. But starting this week, the chickpeas are up for some serious competition, coming from these quinoa and black bean burgers.

Highly nutritious, they’re a full-flavoured wholesome wonder. The combination of quinoa, oats and black beans makes them rich in protein and fibre, yet the addition of cooked onions and mushrooms keeps them moist and light. The quinoa is cooked with a bit of brown rice miso, which adds a wonderful umami flavour and accentuates the sweetness of the chopped dates hidden in the dough. The result is savoury, slightly sweet and fresh and herby with chopped parsley, thyme and lemon zest. Starting with a 400 g tin of black beans, the recipe below makes 8 burgers, which can be split up and frozen for later use, or devoured in one go.

You can serve them the traditional way, on buns, dressed up with the toppings of your choice and with sweet potato chips on the side. Alternatively, you could leave out the rolls and serve them on top of a salad or on wilted greens. Here I stacked them on wholegrain buns with some of my favourite toppings: hummus, avocado and a quick root parsley pickle.

Root parsley is a veg that has only recently become available in Dutch stores. A relative of leafy parsley, which is cultivated for the root rather than the leaves, it looks very similar to parsnips, but has a crisper texture and a fresher flavour. Ever since my eldest daughter surprised me with a starter using spiced and roasted slices of root parsley, I’m a fan. It’s also delicious munched up raw and it makes a wonderful burger topping, simply marinated in rice vinegar for half an hour or so. If root parsley isn’t available, though, this way of pickling works equally well for thinly sliced carrots, daikon radish, cucumber or regular radishes.

Happy burger night!

black bean burger

Quinoa and black bean burgers with quick-pickled root parsley – serves 8

Ingredients

for the root parsley pickle

  • 2 parsley roots, peeled. If you can’t get hold of root parsley, carrots, daikon radish, cucumber or a bunch of regular radishes make good alternatives.
  • 3 tbsp. rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar or agave syrup

for the burgers

  • 120 g quinoa
  • 180 ml water
  • 1 tsp. brown rice miso paste
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 150 g chestnut mushrooms, finely diced
  • leaves of a few sprigs of thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • bunch of curly parsley, chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 400 g tinned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 stoned Medjoul dates, roughly chopped
  • 50 g rolled oats (if you’re gluten allergic, check the label and choose a certified gluten free brand)
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari

To serve: buns, hummus, avocado and mixed salad leaves

black bean burgers

Preparation

Start by pickling the root parsley. Mix the sugar or agave syrup and the vinegar. Using a vegetable peeler, a mandolin or a sharp knife, cut the parsley roots into thin round slices or long thin ribbons. Mix in the vinegar and set aside to marinate.

Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under cold running water. Drain, then tip into a pan. Stir through the miso paste, then add the water. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Take the pan off the heat and leave the quinoa to cool.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Cook the onions until translucent, then add the chopped mushrooms, the garlic, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and cook until the mushrooms are dry and browned. Take the pan off the heat, stir through the parsley and the lemon zest, then leave the mixture to cool.

Tip the beans into the mixing bowl of a food processor, with the chopped dates, the rolled oats and the soy sauce. Whizz to a thick paste. Mix the bean paste and the mushroom mixture with the quinoa.

quinoa burgers

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

Divide the quinoa mixture into 8 portions. Shape these into patties and place them on a lined baking sheet; if you like, you can freeze part of them at this stage.

Lightly brush the burgers with olive oil and bake them for 15 minutes until brown and crunchy.

Halve the rolls and line them with hummus and salad leaves. Put a burger onto each roll and top with avo slices and slices of the root parsley pickle.

Enjoy!

black bean burger

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