Are you one of those people who hate vegetarian burgers? Well, I can empathize, especially if your only exposure to meatless burgers has been those tasteless grain pucks burgers that are sold in the freezer section of your local grocery. Let me be fair. There are some very good pre-made veggie burgers available these days, and I admit to consuming many of them. However, if you do have a bit of time or inclinication, do give these a try. You will be hooked!
The recipe below is adapted from the Candle Cafe cookbook. I have never been to Candle Cafe, but I have heard it is awesome and all vegan. I have tweaked the recipe a bit, so here goes.
Serve on a hearty bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and avocado. I'd skip the mustard and ketchup, but thats up to you.
Black Bean Burgers
Adapted from the Candle Cafe Cookbook
Makes 8 burgers
4 cups cooked black beans
1 cup peeled, finely diced carrots
1 cup shredded or finely chopped onions (preferably sweet variety)
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced scallions (green parts only)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced fine (optional)
1 cup chickpea flour
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cornmeal (to coat)
1. If using canned beans, simmer the beans in 5 cups water for 1/2 hour to soften. Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of liquid. If using beans cooked from dry beans, there is no need to cook further. Drain and save 1 cup of cooking liquid. Puree 1/2 cup of the beans and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all the vegetables, spices, salt, cornmeal, chickpea flour, lemon juice, chipotle chili, and cilantro. Add the pureed and whole beans and stir in, mashing gently. Add some of the served cooking liquid if mixture is too dry. Form into 8 patties.
3. This step is my addition and you can skip it if you prefer, but I like the crust you get with this step. Add the cornmeal to a shallow dish. Add the beaten eggs into a shallow bowl. Dip the patties in the egg mixture and coat in cornmeal. If you are strictly vegetarian, you can skip this step or brush the patties with some cream.
4. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet. Add 4 burgers and cook on medium heat till you get a nice crust on both sides. Keep burgers warm on a wire rack in a 200F oven. Repeat the step with remaining oil and burgers.