Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Black Bean Burgers

I have a newfound love for veggie burgers. Until not too long ago, my only perception of veggie burgers was of a dried out, mealy, grainy brown patty. My dear friend and long-time roommate (sorry Jess!) used to eat them for breakfast - no bun, no cheese, no ketchup, just a heated up veggie burger with a little salt. Blech.

I think the first one I had was at Third and Hollywood in Columbus, probably a year or two ago. Theirs is a corn and black bean burger, I believe with cheese and guacamole. I haven't had it awhile so my memory is a bit foggy. After I saw a veggie burger post on Mark Bittman's website I knew I should try to make my own veggie burgers, and after a little more research I found a black bean burger recipe from the Washington Post a couple years ago. Here's my adaptation:

Makes 6 burgers
2 15-oz. cans black beans, with no salt added
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
2 large eggs
4 scallions, both white and green parts, minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Drain one can of beans, and put in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chunky.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining whole black beans (drained), plus bread crumbs, eggs, scallions, cilantro, garlic, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes and mix until well combined.

Form 6 patties, about 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Place patties on a plate or tray and chill for 15 minutes so they can set up.

When ready to cook, remove patties from refrigerator and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a little bit of oil (canola, vegetable, whatever) in a large skillet over medium heat and add burgers once the pan is hot.

Cook for about 4-5 minutes on first side or until well seared and with a flipping spatula, turn onto second side and allow to cook for an additional five minutes.

Serve immediately with toppings: I used pepper jack cheese and guacamole.

Mmmm. First off, I will say that these burgers were spicy. But I like them that way. Use 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper if you want them to be milder. Also, the "dough" or whatever you want to call it was pretty soft and mushy, so to say that I formed the patties seems a little silly...more like I grabbed a handful and squashed it into the palm of my other hand and slapped it on a plate. The refrigeration part is definitely necessary to get them to firm up a bit, but even after that they need to be handled pretty delicately - scooped off the plate with a spatula and carefully laid into the pan. Don't even think about trying to cook these on a grill, there's no way.

Definitely a good recipe for an easy, healthy dinner. And I didn't cut it in half so that I could have extras to freeze. Yay leftovers!

1 comment:

  1. i'm sorry but i maintain that the veggie burgers from whole foods just need a little salt and they're good to go! ha. but this recipe does sound yummy. i'll need to give it a try soon! always looking for good vegetarian options.