Thursday, July 4, 2013

Black Bean Nacho Burgers

Happy Fourth of July! My carnivorous tendencies tend to come out on grilling holidays like this, but you may end up with some vegetarians or health-conscious people at your holiday cookout. To satisfy their appetites, try these delicious black bean burgers. As the name would suggest, these are basically black bean nachos made into burger form, a classic combination of ingredients that are sure to please. Typical veggie burgers use grains like rice or quinoa, but these burgers get a salty, binding crunch from tortilla chips. Salsa and cheese give these burgers most of their flavor, so be sure to make choose the best of each for this recipe. As with nearly all veggie burgers, texture is the real challenge here, so use caution when flipping so they don't fall apart. For extra assurance, I recommend spraying your spatula with cooking spray so the burgers don't stick to the spatula. If you want to cook these on the grill instead of in a pan, place them on a generously oiled layer of aluminum foil instead of directly on the grate. Delicious, affordable, and practical, this recipe can easily be scaled up to feed a crowd and extras can be tightly wrapped and stored in the freezer.

Black Bean Nacho Burgers
adapted from Epicurious
makes 4 burgers

1 15 ounce can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
1/3 cup salsa, plus additional for serving
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar, plus additional for topping
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Olive oil or canola cooking spray
4 whole grain hamburger buns, tortillas, or pitas
Lettuce leaves, tomato, and red onion for serving (optional)

1. Use a food processor or a potato masher to smash beans until chunky, leaving some partly whole. Stir in crushed chips, salsa, cheddar, egg, and black pepper. Set mixture aside 10 minutes, then shape into 4 patties.

2. Place patties on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

3. Meanwhile, preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add patties to pan and cook until golden brown on one side, 4 to 5 minutes. Spray pan again, if necessary, flip patties and cook until underside is golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add additional cheese on top, if desired. Remove from heat, place on buns, and top with lettuce, tomato, onion, and more salsa, if desired.

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