Monday, October 19, 2009

Just Beet It

I recently entered a recipe contest for Sutter Home's "Build a Better Burger". When I heard about this recipe contest my first inclination was to put beets on my burger and name it in honor of the late great Michael Jackson. Viola! The Just Beet It Burger was born. You will probably notice some similarities between this burger and a beet salad - that is where my inspiration for this burger came from. While this recipe was not chosen as a final recipe, I think it still rocks.

The rules for the competition require that you cook all ingredients on the grill, but feel free to throw the beets in the oven and save your propane or charcoal. Also during the fall and winter months your beets will probably already have their beet greens cut off, so y
ou can leave these out of the recipe or try substituting the beet greens with chopped kale or spinach (Yes, I am still grilling in the middle of winter). Also you can prepare the burger patties, blue cheese sauce, beets, and vinaigrette ahead of time and cook the burgers off and assemble them once your guests arrive.

Just Beet It Burger

1 medium sized red beet
1 medium sized golden beet

Maple Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 fresh ground pepper

Burger Patties

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups beet greens, washed and dried and finely chopped
2 tablespoons Zinfandel wine
1/4 cup minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 pounds ground chuck
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
6 fresh Bulkie Rolls
6 red onion slices
2 cups baby spinach (or lettuce), washed and dried

  1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Individually wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place the beets on the grill grate and cover. Cook, turning the beets occasionally, until just tender, 35-45 minutes. Let beets cook, then peel and slice the beets into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
  3. While beets are roasting make the maple vinaigrette. In a small bowl whisk together the Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss beets and maple vinaigrette together, cover and place in the refrigerator to let marinate 20-30 minutes.
  4. To make the blue cheese sauce, combine blue cheese, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, garlic, fresh mint and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors blend together.
  5. To make the patties, heat a medium sized fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and saute beet greens with Zinfandel wine until beet greens become tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Let cool slightly before forming the patties. Combine the sauteed beet greens, minced shallots, garlic, mint, ground chick and salt and pepper, handling as little as possible but making sure the ingredients are evenly distributed. Shape into 6 patties to fir the bun size. Loosely cover with plastic and set aside until ready to use.
  7. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover, and cook over medium high heat, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, toast the buns by placing the cut sides down on the outer edges of the grill rack.
  8. To assemble the burgers, spread the 1-2 tablespoon blue cheese sauce evenly on the bottom of each Bulkie roll. Place cooked patties on top of the sauce, followed by the marinated beets, sliced red onions and equal portions of the baby spinach. Add the bun tops and serve.
Makes 6 Burgers

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