Beet-Bean Cheeseburger

This exceptional veggie burger, created by Dan Barber for his WastED pop-up at Blue Hill in New York City, has a lot of ingredients; each one adds to the taste and texture and makes it exceptional. The key is cooking the burger until it’s well seared, so you get the familiar charred flavor. Slideshow: More Vegetarian Recipes 

Beet-Bean Cheeseburger
Star chef Dan Barber uses toasted pulp left over from juicing beets and carrots for his exceptional veggie burgers. Photo: BALL & ALBANESE
Active Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins


  • 3 cups (not packed) beet pulp (from juicing 1 1/2 pounds beets)

  • 2 cups (not packed) carrot pulp (from juicing 3/4 pound carrots)

  • 4 ounces small white mushrooms, quartered

  • 1/2 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1/4 cup cooked spelt or barley

  • 3/4 cup (not packed) celery pulp (from juicing 3/4 pound celery ribs)

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted almonds

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 2 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons white miso

  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

To finish

  • Few dashes of Tabasco

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 4 hamburger buns, split

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese

  • Lettuce, sliced tomato and stone-ground mustard, for serving


Make the burgers

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the beet pulp evenly on a parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet. Spread the carrot pulp evenly on a second parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pulp is dry and browned in spots. Scrape into a bowl and let cool completely. Leave the oven on.

  2. On the rimmed baking sheet, toss the mushrooms with the kidney beans, tofu and canola oil. Spread the mixture in an even layer and roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and dry.

  3. In a food processor, pulse the spelt until finely chopped; scrape into a large bowl. Add the mushroom mixture to the processor and pulse until finely chopped; add to the bowl. Add the roasted beet and carrot pulp, the celery pulp and all of the remaining burger ingredients and mix well. Pack the mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick burgers.

Finish the burgers

  1. Heat a grill pan. Spread the butter on the buns and toast cut side down over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the buns to a plate.

  2. Brush the grill pan with oil and heat. Add the burgers and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until nicely charred, about 6 minutes. Top each burger with a slice of cheese, cover and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes longer. Set the burgers on the buns. Top with lettuce and tomato, spread mustard on the top buns and serve.

Make Ahead

The uncooked burgers can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Spiced, black cherry–scented Oregon Pinot Noir.

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