Black Bean Burgers

I still have one more post to put up with pictures from my trip to Europe, but first a little detour back into recipe-land. Since it is Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer I thought a burger recipe was fitting. While it's not a real burger, this still a great meal idea to keep in your back pocket for days when meat is not on the menu. I saw this recipe recently while watching an episode of America's Test Kitchen online and I knew I had to make it soon. 

I really like a good veggie/bean burger and so was very happy to see that this recipe was actually quite simple and used ingredients that I almost always have on hand.  So often it seems that veggie burgers have a million ingredients, several of which I don't usually keep at home so I was happy about this.  All I had to do was soak a pot of beans and make a quick stop to the store to pick up some cilantro and I was all set to whip up a batch of these delicious and versatile black bean burgers. If you're looking for a simple recipe to cure that (veggie) burger craving give this one a try. It's sure to be a winner, it certainly was in my house. 

These burgers have good flavor and a good texture. They did not turn out "mushy" like so many veggie burgers, but were nice and firm and held together well. I also made a little chipotle yogurt sauce using canned chipotles in adobo mixed with a little Greek yogurt. You can always use mayo instead of the yogurt, that is what they did on the show. I topped the burgers with this sauce and a few slices of avocado and it was delicious. I think a  nice slice of cheddar cheese would also be wonderful. 

These burgers are great to make ahead for a quick meal when you don't have a lot of time to cook. Full of spices and aromatics, the prep work is done so you don't need to spend time chopping and adding flavor on a busy night. Just grab a pre-made patty and you're set. Great as a burger, but also in a wrap, on a tortilla, broken into chunks and mixed with a little yogurt or sour cream as a black bean version of chicken salad, or used to top a pizza. These little guys are versatile and delicious, if you've never made a black bean burger before, this is the place to start. 

 
 

Black Bean Burgers
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen
Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, or 4 1/2 ounces dried black beans boiled until tender (about 1 1/2 cups total, cooked)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon coarse cornmeal
  • Cheese, avocado, sprouts for topping (optional)

Directions
Line a baking sheet with a couple of layers of paper towels. Drain and rinse black beans lay in an even layer on the paper towels. Set aside to dry for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg. Add the flour and whisk until no more lumps are visible.  Add the scallions, cilantro, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Set aside. 

Place the bread crumbs, cornmeal, and beans in a food processor. Pulse 5-6 times until a coarse mixture forms. It should be fairly dry. Add the bean mixture to the bowl with the egg mixture. Stir to combine everything evenly. It will be fairly wet. 

Place bean mixture in the fridge for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours, to firm up. When ready to form patties, shape mixture into 4 uniform size round patties of even thickness. 

Heat a large frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Place the patties in the frying pan and cook on one side until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Flip patties with a spatula and cook on second side for another 6-8 minutes or until well browned. Remove from pan. Serve with your favorite toppings. 

Spicy Quinoa and Hummus Patties with Roasted Red Pepper

Last week when I was thinking about what to make for dinner my mind kept drifting towards a burger. Unfortunately I didn't have any ground meat at home, and I didn't feel like going to the store. However, as I kept thinking I realized I had all the ingredients to make a nice meatless burger; I had cooked quinoa in the fridge, some leftover roasted red pepper, and homemade hummus. I decided to just go for it and make up my own recipe with what I had on hand. The results were fantastic! A soft and tender patty filled with veggies, and given a flavor boost with some fragrant spices. Healthy, hearty and delicious. Although a veggie patty will never be able to fully replace a true burger, this recipe holds it's own as a  delicious and healthy alternative dinner. 

I wasn't sure exactly what ratios I should use for my grain vs hummus vs quinoa, but in the end I really liked the results so I was very pleased. I don't eat tons of veggie burgers, so I don't know what most people are looking for in texture and flavor, but I do know I really loved these so I guess I don't care what other people like! These were soft yet not too delicate and held together as I ate my sandwich. I was worried they might just fall apart as I know veggie burgers sometimes can, but no problem with these. This is definitely a recipe that I will make again, adjusting the flavorings and add ins to fit whatever I have on hand. 

Spicy Quinoa and Hummus Patties with Roasted Red Pepper 

I

ngredients

  • 1/4 cup hummus (approximately 60 grams of my homemade hummus)
  • 40 grams (1/2 cup) oats
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/4 of a roasted red pepper
  • Handful cilantro
  • 100 grams cooked quinoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Place hummus, oats and garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined and has formed a thick paste. Add the green onion, red pepper, and cilantro and pulse a few times until combined but still somewhat chunky.

Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and add the quinoa, salt, cumin, cayenne and olive oil. Mix to combine.

Shape mixture into 2-4 patties, depending on your preference. Place in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up a bit.

Preheat grill or grill pan until nice and hot. When ready, transfer patties to grill and cook until nice and hot all the way through, flipping halfway through.

Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings, or top off a salad with this hearty patty in place of your chicken or steak.