With a pantry-heavy, cheap ingredient list and a twenty-minute prep, these healthful, fiber-happy burgers ought to be filed under the tab “Easy Weeknight Staple”. If my recipes were that organized, they would be, though in reality they’re filed under “Pile of Recipes Shoved Into One of Those Groaning Binders in the Kitchen, Maybe the Blue One But I Really Can’t Be Sure”.
Now if “cheap” and “quick” didn’t get your attention, there’s also the zesty, Latin-tinged flavor (serve them with salsa or a chipotle-spiked sour cream rather than reach for the Heinz and French’s) and the burgers’ deeply satisfying, yielding texture. I like them best with a side of roasted sweet potato fries (I’m calling 2010 “Kate’s Year of the Sweet Potato” as my affinity for them has reached epic, is-she-an-addict proportions) and a crunchy spinach salad.
For an unsolicited product endorsement, I’m a big fan of Eden Organics brand black beans, which you can find at most natural food stores or Whole Foods Market. There’s no added salt, but the real boon is that their cans are lined without endocrine-disrupting Bisphenol-A (or “BPA”, as most folks refer to it). They’re the only brand of canned foods on the market (that I’m aware of, anyway) that produces BPA-free packaging, if you can believe it. The calamitous effects of BPA on the public health (most especially babies, little kids and pregnant ladies, or couples trying to get knocked up) are totally depressing and pretty much a walking advert for cooking from scratch and avoiding plastics altogether; do a search for “BPA risks” to get informed and bummed out simultaneously.
Fear not, though. These delicious burgers, dearhearts, are BPA-free black bean beauties, loaded with vitamins (thiamin and folate especially) and heavy on the anti-oxidants. Here’s to your health!
Black Bean Burgers
adapted from Gourmet magazine; makes four burgers
- 2 (15-oz) cans black beans (drained, rinsed and divided)
- 1/4 C shallots, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 C cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- ground pepper
- optional: 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp chipotle flavored Tabasco
- 1 tsp salt (only if the beans you’re using are salt-free, otherwise omit)
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/3 C bread crumbs
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- small hamburger buns, sour cream and salsa or pico de gallo for serving
In the bowl of a food processor, add shallot, garlic, cilantro or parsley, oregano, cayenne. Season with black pepper. (If using, also add the Tabasco, cumin and salt.) Process for 10-15 seconds.
Add remaining ingredients, reserving one can of beans. Process 20 seconds until you have a coarse paste. Stir in the remaining can of beans.
Form four patties. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 3 Tbsp oil until shimmery-hot. Cook burgers until browned on both sides, about 5-6 minutes total. Serve with sour cream and salsa on hamburger buns.