Despite living in a city, a good vegetarian burger still seems hard to come by. I’ve had one too many experiences of everything from bland beans burgers that just don’t cut it to deep fried veggie patties that make me wonder if cooks have any clue about vegetarian cuisine. (Just because we’re vegetarians doesn’t mean all we eat are vegetables, especially not weird potato-glued versions). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of good veggie burgers, but I’m still waiting to find my go-to burger joint. (Suggestions, Philly folks?)
In the meantime, I often stick to making and shaping my own, a surprisingly easy process when I think about all the subpar burger bites I’ve eaten over the years. Unfortunately, the pattie-making doesn’t happen enough in this lady’s kitchen. The last one I made using black beans, my bean of choice here, was all the way back in April! I can still recall those results though. The recipe yielded a memorably flavorful burger topped with an even extra bang of green power, utilizing sauteed broccoli rabe. (Do I need to start my own burger joint? Guess it’s time to make this meal a weekly occasion rather than an every 6-10 mo. occasion. Although, I can guarantee a few undocumented burgers slipped by in between then.)
For this black bean creation, I swapped out my go-to partner in crime, corn, for something a little different. Here, lima beans add a starchy sweetness that comes from a pop in your mouth with each bite. This too was a memorable flavor combo. that I hope to use again soon. Now I just need to work on making my burgers a little less sloppy so I can market them on the go. But really, where’s the fun in that?
- -15.5 oz. can black beans, well-drained
- -2 large garlic cloves, minced
- -3/4 cup onion, diced
- -3/4 cup cooked brown rice
- -1 cup cooked lima beans
- -1/4 cup ketchup
- -1 Tbsp. cumin
- -1/2 - 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- -Salt, pinch
- -2 Tbsp. olive oil
- -Dijon mustard
- In large bowl, mash black beans and spices with a potato masher. Stir in onion, garlic, rice, lima beans and ketchup.
- Heat oil over medium-high in skillet. Form burgers into round, palm-sized patties about 1/2-inch thick. Once oil is hot (sizzles with a drop of water), place burgers in pan, 2 - 3 at a time depending on how large your skillet is.
- Cook about four minutes on each side, flipping halfway, until edges are browned and crispy. If the beans weren't drained well, simply use two spatulas to shape and maintain the structure of the patties.
- Prepare bun with a layer of Dijon mustard, lettuce/spinach/sprouts, and handful of cilantro. Top with burger, and serve.