Vermont Mex Burger on Polenta with Pineapple Mango Salsa

Team: Where's the Beef

Host School: Milton Town School District

Age Group: Middle School


Vermont-Mex Veggie Burger


4 cups Pinto Beans

½ cup Onion

½ cup Red Pepper

½ cup Butter Nut Squash

½ cup beets

¼ cup Parsnip

2 Chipotle peppers

½ cup Olive Oil

2 eggs

½ cup Panko

1TBSP Chili Powder

½ TBSP Cumin

½ TBSP Salt

½ TBSP Pepper

2TBSP Garlic

 Pineapple Mango Salsa


2 ripe mangos, diced 1 pineapple
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 large lime, juiced (about ¼ cup lime juice)



4 cups water
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup polenta


3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup freshly grated Cabot Cheddar

Sour Cream garnish:

1 cup sour cream

¼ cup milk


Preparation Instructions


Place rinsed Pinto beans in large bowl and mash add eggs seasoning and panko and mix

Dice onion, peppers, squash and turnip into a fine dice

Pour 2TBSP oil into fry pan and heat add diced vegetables and cook until tender.

Add Veggies to Bean Mixture and mix well.

Scoop bean mixture with a #20 scoop and form into patty

Coat griddle with oil and fry patties 3 minutes each side

Place patties on cookie sheet and bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees.


In a serving bowl, combine the prepared mango, bell pepper, onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Drizzle with the juice of one lime and mix well. Season to taste with salt. For best flavor, let the salsa rest for 10 minutes or longer.

Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan; pour polenta slowly into boiling water, whisking constantly until all polenta is stirred in and there are no lumps.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until polenta starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Polenta mixture should still be slightly loose. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, whisking every 5 to 6 minutes. When polenta is too thick to whisk, stir with a wooden spoon. Polenta is done when texture is creamy and the individual grains are tender.
Turn off heat and gently stir 2 tablespoons butter into polenta until butter partially melts.
Place Polenta on ½ sheet tray and smooth out to approx. ¼ inch thickness and cover with grated cheddar.

Directions: Wisk together sour cream and milk, place in pastry bag and hold for garnishing.

Plate Preparation:

Cut polenta into 2x2 squares. Place square of Polenta on serving plate and top with Vermont – Mex burger. Laddle 2 tablespoons of salsa over burger and garnish with sour cream.