Veggie burgers have a come a long way.
I can remember going to a BBQ and watching the hamburgers and hot dogs come off the grill. That moment where the football game ends and the conversations stop, and people line up to grab their meal, before shuffling over to the condiment bar. And then, like some back-alley, black-market transaction, someone casts their eyes over the party, slips a furtive hand into their purse, and hands the chef a frozen pattie from plastic baggie. The veggie burger.
But no more. These days, veggie burgers are no longer the odd guest at the outdoor grill or burger joint. As one article recently noted, “veggie burgers haven’t merely become good. They have exploded into countless variations of good, and in doing so they’ve begun to look like a bellwether for the American appetite.”
After reading that article, and countless others on the environmental and health costs associated with red meat, I decided to try my hand at making my own veggie burger. This recipe comes adapted from a recipe I found in the Washington Post. The recipe is a bit black-bean centric, but I still loved the final product, especially with the subtle kick of spices. At the same time, I am looking forward to crafting different versions of a veggie burger, possibly with beets, rice, and other vegetables. In the meantime, this burger can be proudly eaten at any BBQ!
*I froze several of these burgers and reheated them, wrapped in foil, at 375 for 20 minutes. They still tasted great!
spicy black bean burgers
Recipe adapted from the Washington Post.
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: 8 Burgers
WHAT TO GRAB:
3 cups cooked, rinsed and drained black beans (about 2 15-ounce cans)
1 cup Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Place 1 1/2 cups of the black beans in a large bowl and puree with an immersion blender. Add the remaining whole black beans and the rest of the remaining ingredients. Mix until well combined.
2. Form eight patties, about one inch thick, and place onto tray lined with parchment paper. Chill for 30 minutes so they can firm up.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, without any fat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the burgers to the dry pan. Cook for about four minutes on the first side or until well seared. Flip the burgers, and cook for one minute. Then place the skillet in the oven, and cook for an additional four minutes.
4. Serve immediately with your choice of toppings: Chipotle jack cheese, lettuce, tomato slice, pico de gallo avocado, and/or jarred salsa. Good on a soft bun or by itself.