Walnut-Beet Burger with Baby Lettuces

Walnut-Beet Burger with Baby Lettuces

Lately, I have been out on the road, making juices from my new book, Juice It! I have met lots of people who are just getting interested in juicing. Standing in front of a group of people, I drop veggies and fruits into the juicer, and we all watch the juice flow into one pitcher, and the pulp tumble into the other. It’s a fun little show.

A question that comes up over and over is this: “What do you do with the leftover pulp?”

The frequency of this question has motivated me to get into the kitchen and work up some interesting recipes that employ leftover pulp. I am glad that I did anticipate this, and put a really good muffin recipe in the book, and I posted this Carrot Cake Bar Recipe a few blogs ago. But as much as I’d like to say that I always find an edible use for all my pulps, I must admit that my juicer pulp goes into my composter, most of the time. It’s a perfectly respectable end for the fibrous bits, once they have given up all that nutritious juice.

But the people have spoken. They want to eat that pulp.

So, this week I saved some beet pulp to work with. It’s easy to save pulp or even freeze it for future use. I would also  advise that you plan which of the veggies and fruits that you are juicing you want to save for cookery, and put that through the juicer first. That’s what I did, juicing the beets, taking the pulp out and putting it in a storage container. Then I went ahead and made the Beet Carrot Parsley Blend.

Beet and walnut veggie burgers are a great idea, with the sweet, red beets giving it an almost beefy look, when blended with dark walnuts. I’ve even seen beet veggie burgers on the menu at local restaurants like Mill Valley Kitchen.  But most recipes rely on whole beets, and I thought that beet pulp would be a great textural element, as well as adding color and flavor. So, I decided to make mine with some tofu, for a little more tenderness and to boost the protein. Miso gives it a meaty, umami/salty tang, as well.

So, a quick saute of onions and a brief toasting of the walnuts in the pan was about all the prep that needed to happen. The rest of the ingredients just needed to be kneaded in and formed into patties.

Before Mixing

Before Mixing

The resulting patty was gorgeously pink, and held together well. With a vegan burger like this, I find it preferable to bake the rounds, since they are a little delicate and might crumble in a frying pan.

Walnut Beet Burger Before Baking

Walnut Beet Burger Before Baking

A 400 degree oven and about 30 minutes was all it took to make these crisp on the outside, and wonderfully chewy and moist inside. Yes, I drizzled mine with Gochujang, but ketchup would be good, too.

Take a Tasty Bite

So if you want a good use for all that healthy fiber in your juicer pulp, try these burgers. They would be good with carrot pulp, sweet potato pulp, or other high fiber veggie juice leftovers.

Because we don’t want to waste a bit of that fabulous organic produce. I hear you.


Walnut Beet Burgers

Makes 4

1 cup beet pulp

1 large onion, chopped

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 cup walnuts

5 ounces extra firm tofu (I used half a 10 ounce Wildwood) patted dry

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red miso

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

oil for pan


Preheat the oven to 400 F, oil a sheet pan. Make the beet pulp and put in a large bowl. In a large saute pan, heat the oil and saute the onions until golden and shrunken, about 10 minutes. Add the walnuts and stir until fragrant and lightly toasted. Transfer the onion mixture to the food processor and pulse to mince, not puree. Scrape into the bowl with the beet pulp. Crumble in the tofu, and add the remaining ingredients. Mix and knead until the mix holds its shape when pressed.

Use heaping 1/2 cup portions to form burgers, scoop onto the sheet pan and flatten to 3/4 inch, pressing any stray crumbles in at the edges. Bake for 20, then carefully use a metal spatula to turn the patties, then bake for 10 minutes more.

Serve with condiments of choice, on buns, lettuce leaves, or whatever you want to try.