You guys, I have finally done it. I have perfected my black bean burger recipe! It has been a long road, but it was worth it.
My first attempts were flavorful, but the texture was lacking. No matter what I did, they turned out mushy in the center, which, needless to say, isn’t a particularly desirable quality in a burger. Tweaking the flour and/or oats added didn’t do the trick, and neither did adding a bit of quinoa (although it did help). Along the way, I stumbled on the perfect spice mixture and a couple of great combinations of veggies to add. I experimented with different binders. Then, finally, I had the epiphany that tied it all together: spelt!
I actually used a 5-grain mix I had on hand, but spelt was my original inspiration and would work just fine. I put a lot more in than I had with the quinoa, and combined with extra binders (egg and cheese), I had finally created my perfect black bean burger!
It wasn’t the least bit mushy, and it tasted wonderful — huzzah! The recipe makes six patties, so I’ve had these a couple of times and they hold up great in the freezer.* Last night I had one with grilled peppers and heirloom tomatoes, and that was awesome.
*Which means way less work for next time, yay!
I still love quinoa burgers, but I think I may have a new favorite. Glad I stuck with it, when I was so close to throwing in the towel.
Black Bean Burgers
1 can black beans, rinsed well and drained
1 cup cooked spelt or 5 grain mix
1 cup chopped mixed vegetables**
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
Using a potato masher, mash the beans in a large bowl. Add the cooked grains and stir to combine. Add all other ingredients and mix until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If grilling, preheat the grill to medium-high heat and spray an oven-proof skillet with oil. If preparing on the stovetop, heat a griddle or skillet to medium high heat and spray with oil. Meanwhile, form the black bean mixture into patties with your hands, rolling into a ball first and then flattening slightly. This recipe makes about 6 burgers.***
Grill the burgers in the preheated skillet, turning after 5 to 6 minutes, and serve on a bun with your choice of burger fixin’s. Enjoy!
**You can use pretty much whatever suits your fancy, but my favorite combination have included sweet peppers, hot peppers (minced, and one or two tops), mushrooms, and corn.
***At this point, you can freeze any leftover burgers for later use between sheets of plastic wrap. I like to use Press ‘n’ Seal Freezer, since I don’t have to wrap them in anything else.