Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quick Black Bean Burgers

Maybe the holiday weekend is to blame, but I got it stuck in my head that I needed to make a batch of veggie burgers. This unofficial start to summer, with all its promise of delicious grilled meals, put burgers at the forefront of my mind, even though the weather doesn't seem quite as ready to cooperate.

My Memorial Day weekend grilling actually ended up being brats, but I cooked up a fine batch of veggie burgers in the house as well. I'm one of those people who is almost perpetually in motion, and with an endless list of summer projects, the word quick really caught my eye when I dove into the internet's store of veggie burger recipes. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find how much flavor this burger has for such a short time investment (and a few tweaks of my own). The lime rind adds a nice brightness and acidic touch, the ancho chili powder a nice sweetness and smokiness, with intermittent bursts of roasted garlic delighting the taste buds. These burgers have plenty of flavor to stand on their own, but I piled mine high with sharp cheddar, avocado, spinach, red onion, and salsa for a robust tower of flavor that brought a smile to my face with each bite.

As with so many veggie burgers, keeping these patties together can be a bit of a challenge, but I found as long as I let a proper crust form on one side of the burger before flipping and I used a spatula large enough so that no edges were subject to the forces of gravity, I didn't have any problems. If your patties do break apart, just smash them back together and go along your merry way, piling them high with toppings to disguise any seams. While I do love a beautiful plate of food, as long as the flavor is there, who really cares if there are a few structural problems? Just tell your guests these burgers have character (or say nothing at all).

Quick Black Bean Burger
adapted from Cooking Light
makes 4 burgers

1 (2-ounce) hamburger bun, torn into pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
4 whole wheat hamburger buns or pitas, for serving
Sliced cheddar or Jack cheese, avocado, red onion, salsa, spinach or lettuce, for serving (optional)

1. Place bun in a food processor; process 4 times or until crumbs measure about 1 cup. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Combine 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, and beans in processor; pulse 8 times or until beans make a thick paste. Scrape bean mixture into bowl with breadcrumbs. Stir in rind and remaining ingredients. With moistened hands, divide bean mixture into 4 equal portions (about 1/3 cup mixture per portion), shaping each into a 3-inch patty.

3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan; reduce heat to medium, and cook 4 minutes or until bottom edges are browned. Carefully turn patties over; cook 3 minutes or until bottom edges are done. Place burger on bun, add toppings of choice, and serve

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