Thank you for joining us for another week of local seasonal eating! As we are having more and more warm sunny days, I have been getting excited about burger season! This week’s recipe uses Rootabaga staples to make my favourite Sweet Potato and Black Bean veggie burgers. Fresh spinach and sliced hot house tomatoes make the perfect spring fixings, and you could even try your hand at a quick pickle recipe with an english cucumber. In total this week, the small share has:
Sweet Potatoes – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Spinach – Noggins Corner Farm, spray-free
Hot House Tomatoes – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally grown
Red Beets – Elmridge Farm, spray-free
Cucumber – Den Haan Greenhouses, conventionally grown
White Mushrooms – Valley Mushrooms PEI, spray-free
Cortland Apples – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally grown
The large share has everything above, as well as:
½ lb of spinach instead of ⅓ lb
1lb hot house tomatoes instead of ½ lb
3lbs of Cortland apples instead of 2lbs
Buttercup Squash – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally grown
Yellow Potatoes – Noggins Corner Farm, conventionally grown
My family has been eating these Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers for a long time. They are inspired by a recipe in the Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking cookbook, but I have combined my favourite aspects of the recipe with other methods I’ve tried over the years to make the ultimate veggie burger patty. These burgers are filling and delicious thanks to sweet potatoes, black beans, and toasted walnuts. The flavour comes from onion, cumin, and paprika and an unusual ingredient that really adds to the savoury smokey flavour – cocoa powder! Not too much, but a little bit, brings a lot of depth of flavour. It’s a trick that I’ve loved incorporating since I first came across it, and it works great in vegetable bean chili too. These burger patties store well for leftovers or can also be frozen for a later meal.
I typically serve this meal with roasted potatoes and often a side of coleslaw if I have cabbage that needs using (which is often when eating seasonally in Nova Scotia). Enjoy your burger! Ideally on the deck if weather permits. Once you get the hang of making veggie burgers they become a fun and versatile way to use up leftovers. Have leftover cooked rice or quinoa? Use the grains instead of oat flour. Or use the last of some mashed turnip or potato instead of sweet potato. I’ve added shredded beet that was leftover from a recipe in burgers too, the options are really endless once you get a feel for the texture you’re looking for. If you’d like to freeze the patties, cook them on the stovetop as described, then freeze them in bags with parchment squares between each patty so they don’t stick together. To heat, bake them in the oven from frozen at 350 degrees until warmed through, 30-40 minutes.
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup walnut pieces
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt, more to taste
- black pepper
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ - ¾ cup oat flour (you can make oat flour by blending ¾ cup of rolled or quick oats in a blender)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the sweet potato in half and place face down on a baking sheet, roast the potato until tender, about 25- 30 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a large bowl.
- Afterwards, toast the walnuts. Place the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the nuts until fragrant and toasty smelling, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat; chop the nuts into small sized pieces, leaving the pieces big enough to have some texture in the patties.
- In a large bowl, add the black beans and mash with a fork or potato masher, leaving some beans whole for texture.
- Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well. Taste the mixture and add more salt or spices if needed. The mixture will be sticky and moist but should hold together when pressed into shape. If it seems too wet, add more oat flour to the mixture.
- With your hands, shape into patties about an inch thick and the diameter of the burger buns. Heat a frying pan with olive or canola oil to medium heat. Fry the patties until crisp and browned on both sides. The burger patties will be somewhat squishy as you eat them. Enjoy them as is, or for a drier patty you can bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
- Dress your burger buns, top with spinach, tomato, pickles and any of your favourite burger condiments! Pea shoots are also delicious on these burgers, as is fresh cilantro, avocado, or red onion.
Of course store bought pickles are great in a pinch, but since we have cucumber in our Rootabaga subscription this week, you could also give a quick pickle recipe a go. Something like these: https://www.seriouseats.com/quick-dill-pickle-chips-recipe, would work great with an English cucumber. They come together fairly easily with minimal ingredients. The suggested wait time before eating them is 30 minutes but the flavour will be more developed if you can make the pickles a day ahead.
This recipe for Herbed Garlic Mushrooms is sure to be a hit! https://cafedelites.com/garlic-mushrooms/#recipe. The recipe calls for 1 lb of mushrooms and there are half a pound in the subscriptions this week so take care to halve the recipe. These would be a delicious side with steak, Snowy River Pork Chops, or on their own for a light lunch with a slice of toast. The recipe calls for button or cremini mushrooms, but the milder flavour white mushrooms will be delicious as well with the butter, thyme, and garlic added to them.
Once again, thank you for following along on our journey to enjoy all the wonderful food grown by small farmers in Nova Scotia! We are so lucky to have such an abundance of fresh produce available to us every week – and we love sharing it with all of you.
Until next week,