I had a ton of leftover black beans from making the quinoa salad earlier in the week, so I decided to put them to good use. I hadn’t made my own burgers in over ten years because my teenage self thought they were a pain and my mom was willing to buy the over-processed frozen ones. These days I don’t bother with those burgers. They’re too expensive and not very good for you.
I dove in with the help of one of my favorite cookbooks: How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. My only problem with this book is that it relies so heavily on the food processor, which Bittman uses for everything! Obviously he’s never had a tiny NYC kitchen. I don’t have one, except for tiny one that attaches to my blender, so I used a potato masher. It worked great, except I had big chunks of onion. Next time, I’m going to process the onion in the blender.
UPDATE: I pureed the onion, herbs, and lime juice this time. WOW! What a difference. Big flavor, nice and moist, and the cilantro-onion slurry is such a gorgeous color. Just know that you may need a little extra oatmeal if the mixture is too wet, and that the slurry will make your eyes tear.
The Simplest Bean Burgers
2 cups well-cooked beans (I used black of course)
1 medium onion, finely minced if you don’t have a food processor, quartered if you do.
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 egg, or 1/2 c mashed potatoes, or 1/2 c cooked oatmeal, or 1/4 c miso, or 1/2 c tofu
^ I used the cooked oatmeal, since it’s the cheapest and I had it on hand
Seasonings: I used some cumin, chopped fresh oregano, zest of one lime, and a little lime juice when the mixture got too dry. Also a little salt and pepper and my favorite seasoning blend Slap Ya Mama.
1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or by hand with a potato masher.
2. With wet hands, form into patties (I used a 1/2 c measuring cup to keep them even). I got six 1/2 c sized patties out of this recipe.
3. Brown in a non-stick skillet, or lightly oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes for each side.
Delicious with salsa or even a little ketchup. I’m going to try them with avocado or guacamole next. Yum! I’ve definitely revised my opinion of home-made burgers. These were so easy, and you can even make a big batch and freeze them.