At the beginning of each year, the University School here in Nashville hosts a series of classes as part of their fundraising efforts. They cover a wide variety of topics ranging from beekeeping to golf, basic HTML, and courses on food and drink. One of the classes I choose this year was on vegetarian cooking led by the talented staff of The Stone Fox including one of the co-owners, Elise Tyler. She was kind enough to allow me to share the recipe for one of their most popular dishes – the veggie burger!
Photo courtesy of Melissa Madison Fuller
Before we dive into the recipe, I’d like to say a few words about The Stone Fox itself. It’s a lovely independent restaurant and music venue in Nashville owned by Elise and her brother. I’ve been for brunch, but after sampling the food made in the class, I am eager to go back for dinner!
Even though The Stone Fox isn’t a vegetarian restaurant, the menu has lots of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. You can also get a great Angus beef burger topped with bacon, so there is something for everyone!
In the class that I took, we made three things: a buffalo cauliflower bites appetizer, veggie burgers, and a cherry garcia vegan ice cream. All were fantastic, but today I’m going to share the recipe for the veggie burgers. Now, being married to a vegetarian means I’ve had a lot of veggie burgers, so you can trust me when I say that The Stone Fox’s version is quite tasty. The burgers also happen to be both gluten-free (if made with a gluten-free flour) and vegan (if you don’t add cheese, which I did because cheese makes everything better.).
The burgers have a chickpea and rice base, with the addition of roasted beets and plenty of spices. The beets make the patties look remarkably beef-like, but unlike meat, they retain their pink color while cooking. They also hold together quite well, unlike many other veggie burgers. The recipe does require a little bit of time since you need to roast the beets, but once this step is done, they come together quickly. Bonus: the mixture keeps in the fridge for up to a week. I haven’t tried it, but I would guess that the patties could also be frozen, then thawed and cooked for a quick weeknight meal.
The Stone Fox Veggie Burger
Makes 5 Patties
1 15oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 large or 2 small beets, preferably red
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. sesame seed oil
1 tbs. cilantro, minced
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 tbs. chili powder
1/2 cup chickpea flour (this makes this recipe gluten-free, but any type of flour would work)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 450 F. Wrap unpeeled beets in foil and roast them for 20 minutes, or until they are soft to the touch. Set them aside until cool, and then use your fingers to rub the skin off. Dice the beets into small pieces. (Note: The beets can be roasted up to two days in advance and kept in the refrigerator, covered.)
- In a skillet, saute the onion in 1/2 tbs. of the sesame oil until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the beets and garlic, and cook 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add apple cider vinegar and cook for 3-4 more minutes, until the liquid has cooked down. Set the mixture aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the garbanzo beans with a potato masher or large spoon until they are completely broken down. Add the cooked rice, beet and onion mixture, lemon juice, remaining sesame oil, cilantro, coriander, cumin, and chili powder. Stir to combine and add salt and pepper as needed. Add the flour and stir until well mixed. Portion into medium sized patties, approximately 5.5 oz. (Note: At this point, patties can be stored up to four days in the fridge, covered.)
- To cook: Place the patties in a skillet over medium heat, and cook until the outside begins to brown. Flip and brown the other side. Serve on a toasted bun with your favorite toppings!