Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

black bean vegetarian burgers recipe

N wanted veggie burgers.  He thought it would be a challenge for us, with a tasty reward.  A good veggie burger seemed like a very difficult thing to make.  Thanks to some help from Mark Bittman, our veggie burgers were a success!  Bittman's New York Times article provided some insight into the making of veggie burgers.  He lamented the fact that veggie burgers have become so flavourless, full of fillers, and basically gross.  There are a few tricks to achieving the right consistency and flavour: 1) using something starchy to hold everything together, 2) adding some flavour to mimic a regular burger, such as caramelized onions, and 3) cooking the burgers in a pan, not on the grill, so they don't fall apart.  The article offers three simple recipes based on whether you use beans, nuts, or tofu as the base.  The recipes offer a good start with a lot of flexibility to make the burger your own.

We aren't vegetarians, but it was still satisfying to know that we weren't eating meat.  These burgers are really good and will satisfy even the most carnivorous of your friends or family!

Black Bean Burgers
Serves 4

3 tablespoons oil
1 can black beans (or 2 cups cooked black beans)
1 small onion
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup corn kernels
3/4 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons salsa
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
Additional salsa for topping

Cut onion into thin slices and then in half.  Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a medium non-stick pan.  Brown the onions and then add one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.  Add the garlic at the end of carmelizing the onions, and cook until the garlic browns slightly.

Combine the black beans, onion, garlic, and wheat germ in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse several times until the ingredients begin to combine.  Add the salsa and the corn and pulse until just combined.  Transfer the bean mixture from the food processor to a regular bowl.  Stir an egg and the spices into the bean mixture, and add more wheat germ if the mix is too wet.  The mixture should be sticky, but not wet.  Form patties.

Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Wait until the pan is hot to add the bean patties.  Cook the patties for about 4 minutes per side.

Serve the burgers with avocado, tomato slices, and salsa!

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