Thursday, April 2, 2009

Black Bean Burgers

Before Lent started, I wanted to be prepared for going pescatarian so I went to Epicurious and searched for easy vegetarian dinners. The funny thing is that I've hardly made any of the ones I tagged because I've had so many options! I went back this week for some ideas and found these burgers, involving Mexican flavors, always a hit in our house.

When I was at boarding school, we had very limited appealing options in the cafeteria, but oddly enough, there are some things that I still find myself craving. One of those things being black bean burgers. So not only were these a quick weeknight dinner, but for me, they were also nostalgic.

This quick dinner was made even faster because I had made the patties before going to work. When I walked in the door at 7:30, Joe was cooking the patties, had the coleslaw made, and the steak fries in the oven. He hadn't even seen the recipe, but I think he's watched me cook enough that he knew exactly what to do!

I served these on Arnold's Sandwich Thins, which are 100 calories a bun and were recommended by my mom, with a little sharp cheddar cheese and salsa. With coleslaw and steak fries on the side, I don't think Joe even minded that they were vegetarian. And, for my taste, they were a lot more flavorful than a regular meat burger.

I had a little trouble getting these to stay together and might add an egg to the mixture. I also pureed more of the beans because the whole beans were not incorporating well into the patties.

Black-Bean Burgers
source: Epicurious


3 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 soft hamburger buns
Accompaniments: sour cream; salsa; lettuce

Pulse 2 cups beans in a food processor with mayonnaise, bread crumbs, cumin, oregano, and cayenne until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cilantro and remaining cup of beans. Form mixture into 4 patties.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook burgers until outsides are crisp and lightly browned, turning once, about 5 minutes total. Serve on buns.