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These Cheeseburgers Are Made from Your Leftover Juice Pulp

Photo: Lottie Hedley

If you make juice at home, you're familiar with the pulp that's expelled with every glass. It's ugly AF, but that doesn't mean the fresh veg should go to waste. (You probably shelled out $$$ for all that produce, after all.) Great news: Juice pulp recipes are a real thing. You can use pulp to make a soup broth, boost smoothies, or sneak vegetables into baked goods. (Here are 10 more ways to use up your food scraps.) Another option that you probably haven't thought of? Juice pulp cheeseburgers.

Blue Hill chef Dan Barber created this recipe which was published in the America the Great Cookbook (Weldon Owen). (Side note: Blue Hill is worth traveling for.) Barber is super passionate about sustainability; when he found out his local juicer was throwing away vegetable pulp, he cooked up a way to put it to good use. The result is a juicy, nutritious veggie burger that will impress vegetarians and meat eaters alike. (Next, check out these other crazy-good vegetarian burgers.)

Juice Pulp Cheeseburger Recipe

Makes: 4 burgers

Ingredients

  • 3 cups beet pulp (from juicing 3 pounds beets)
  • 2 cups carrot pulp (from juicing 2 1/2 pounds carrots)
  • 1/4 pound small white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup drained canned kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup cooked spelt or barley
  • 3/4 cup celery pulp (from juicing 1 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 dried 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 freshly ground pepper

To serve

  • Butter, for spreading on the buns
  • 4 burger buns, split
  • Neutral oil, for cooking
  • 4 slices bacon (optional)
  • 4 crispy lettuce leaves
  • 4 slices favorite cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the beet pulp in an even layer on the first baking sheet and the carrot pulp on the second. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the pulp is dry and browned in spots, about 30 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and let cool completely. Leave the oven on.

  3. In a bowl, toss the mushrooms with the kidney beans, tofu, and canola oil. Spread the mixture in an even layer on the third baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and dry, about 30 minutes.

  4. In a food processor, pulse the spelt until finely chopped, then scrape into a large bowl. Add the mushroom mixture to the processor and pulse until finely chopped; transfer to the bowl. Add the beet pulp, carrot pulp, celery pulp, eggs, almonds, cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, miso, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix well. Pack the mixture into four burgers each about 1/2 inch thick.

  5. To serve, heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spread the butter on the bun halves. Toast, cut side down, until golden, about two minutes. Transfer the buns to a plate.

  6. Brush the grill pan with oil and bring the heat back to medium. Add the burgers and cook, turning once, until golden brown and lightly charred, about 3 minutes per side. If using the bacon, grill it in a separate pan until crisp.

  7. To assemble the burgers, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom half of each bun and top with a burger. Add the cheese and the bacon (if using) and top with the other bun half. Serve right away.

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