As we’re moving into prime grilling and burger season, I want to share with you one of my favorite burger recipes. Even without egg as a binder, these black bean burgers hold together amazingly well and are great grilled, baked, or cooked up in a skillet. Topped with your favorite fixings, maybe add a side of Cajun-spiced oven fries, and a green salad—you’ve got a perfect patio meal. A nice bottle of Rosé or a couple ice cold Mexican beers would be the crowning touch.
With the oats and the bread crumbs, these are a somewhat grain-centric burger, but not so much that serving on a bun is overkill. Although my favorite way to eat these flavor-filled favorites is sans bun with a slather of fresh guacamole and spoonful of pickled veggies.
Spicy Black Bean Burgers
Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon, via Eating for England
1 cup chopped onion
1 jalapeno pepper, minced, seeds included
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained
½ cup rolled oats
¾ cup sweet corn, fresh or frozen
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on your heat preference)
¼ cup plain breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Put onion, jalapeno, and garlic in food processor and pulse a few times. Add beans, rolled oats, corn, green onion, cumin, curry, and cayenne. Season with salt & pepper and pulse about 10 times. Scrape down sides and pulse a few more times until mixture comes together. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for two hours (you can speed this up by placing in freezer for 30 minutes and move to fridge for another 30 minutes).
When mixture is chilled, stir in breadcrumbs. Taste, and adjust seasonings. Form mixture into six patties.
To grill, fire up the grill and heat to a medium-high heat. Brush burgers with olive oil and either place directly on grill grates or a pan with smaller grates designed for a grill. Cook about 5 minutes or until bottom is brown and crisp. Flip and cook until the other side is brown and crisp.
If baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush burgers on both sides with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, flip, and bake 10 minutes more or until burgers are browned and crisp.
To pan-fry in a skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Add patties to pan (may have to do this in batches—don’t crowd the burgers) and cook for about 5 minutes or until brown and crisp on the bottom. Flip and cook another 5 or so minutes.
Serve with your favorite burger toppings and accompaniments, with or without buns. Makes 6 burgers.