ROOT- TO- LEAF BEET BURGERS
Serves: 4 For pickled beet stems:
Stems from 1 bunch beets
4 cups (1 l) water
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 bay leaves
3/4 cup (180 ml) white vinegar (5 per cent acidity)
5 tbsp (75 ml) sugar
2 tbsp (30 ml) sea salt
1 tsp (5 ml) whole black peppercorns
For roasted beets:
2 large beets, any colour, stems reserved for pickling (see above)
2 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, divided
2 tsp (10 ml) sea salt, divided
Pepper to taste
4 hamburger buns, toasted
Roasted beets Pickled beet stems
1 avocado, thinly sliced
4 oz (114 g) goat cheese
Fresh beet greens
7. Make the pickled beet stems: trim any bruised or discoloured parts from the stems. Cut the stems into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces and place into a clean glass jar.
8. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil. Pour the pickling liquid over the beet stems. Let the mixture cool and then place the lid on top. Shake the jar and refrigerate the stems for at least 24 hours.
9. Make the roasted beets: Scrub the beets well to remove any dirt and trim off the leafy greens close to the top of the beet, leaving about a half inch (1.25 cm) of stem. Remove the stems from the greens and reserve both. Wash the greens and spin or pat dry.
10. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Tear 2 large sheets of aluminum foil.
11. Place 1 beet on each sheet of foil. To each foil package, add 1 sprig of thyme, 1 tbsp (15 ml) of olive oil and 1 tsp (5 ml) of sea salt. Wrap beets loosely in the foil.
12. Place the wrapped beets on a baking sheet. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, checking for doneness every 20 minutes or so.
13. Roast until the beets are tender. You’ll know when the beets are done when a paring knife easily slides into the centre of the beet.
14. Let the beets cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, hold one of the beets in a paper towel and rub the skin away. The skin should peel away easily. 15. Discard the thyme and foil packages. Slice the beets into 3⁄4- inch ( 2- cm) rounds and season with salt and pepper to taste.
16. Build your burgers: Place at least two slices of roasted beets on the toasted bun bottoms.
17. Top each burger with 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) pickled beet stems, 1⁄4 of the sliced avocado, 1 ounce (28 g) goat cheese, 1 to 2 leaves beet greens and the toasted bun top. Serve immediately.
Beet burgers are made using every part of the vegetable.