This is what it looks like when you combine ground+cooked farro, a fist-sized beet mangled in a food processor and a cup of vital wheat gluten—then smash it with your hands in a prep bowl.
I’ve pre-ground farro before to make sausages and a faux-pork filling for these dumplings. Pre-grinding it creates a texture that’s similar to ground beef without being too close to the real thing. I don’t like veganized dishes like this to be too convincing, but still interesting enough to stand on their own. Farro allows that, plus it’s super healthy.
Form it into little patties with a little pressure and some turning.
Now it’s ready for baking or chucking into an air fryer. Top with kimchi mayo and vegan cheese for a faux meaty burger. Don’t forget to toast your buns. Serve with these chickpea fries, these bangin’ tots or these broccoli-based tots.
Farro + Beet Burgers with Kimchi Mayo
Yield 8 burgers
for the burgers
- 1 cup farro, ground to a coarse consistency in a coffee grinder or Vitamix (it's fine if some pieces of farro don't grind up evenly—it adds to the texture of the burger.)
- 2 TB refined coconut oil
- 1 medium-sized beet (the one I used was about the size of my fist) ground in a food processor
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- olive oil, for coating the baking sheet and burgers
for the kimchi mayo
- 1 cup vegan kimchi, finely chopped
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 TB sriracha
- hamburger buns
- vegan butter
- vegan cheese
- microgreens or other greens
for the burgers
- Combine the farro with plenty of water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the farro from sticking to the bottom. Remove from the heat, cover and let it sit for an additional 12-15 minutes.
- While the farro is cooking, melt the coconut oil in a medium-sized cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add the beet and shallots, stirring to coat. Season with the salt, liquid smoke, thyme, oregano and black pepper. Saute for about 12 minutes or until softened.
- Drain the farro well and add to a large prep bowl. Add the cooked beet mixture and stir to combine. Add the vital wheat gluten in, 1/4 cup at a time, then mash with your hands until all of the VWG is absorbed. If it's still a little sticky, add a little more.
- Divide the mixture into 8 portions and form into patties.
to oven bake the burgers (recommended)
- To bake in the oven, preheat oven to 425.
- Grease a baking sheet with some olive oil, also coating the burgers with some of the oil. Bake on one side for 15-20 minutes (or until nicely browned on the bottom), then flip and bake on the other side for 15-20 minutes more, or until both sides are nicely and evenly browned. Place a slice of vegan cheese on the tops towards the end of the bake time to melt.
to air fry the burgers (works if you don't want to turn on your oven)
- Working in batches, coat burgers with oil and bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the burgers are brown all over. Place slices of vegan cheese on top of the burgers and let sit closed up in the air fryer with the heat turned off for a minute or so to melt the cheese.
for the kimchi mayo
- Combine all the kimchi mayo ingredients, set aside.
- Toast hamburger buns and serve with the kimchi mayo and greens, or whatever you like on your burger.
You can also make this whole batch and store in the refrigerator or freezer to use later as you like. Just form the patties and separate them with wax or parchment paper to prevent sticking.