Last summer I started to hunt for the perfect, homemade black bean burger that could handle the grill. In the course of that journey, there was a lot of fail. Dry patties that fell through the grill top, weird tastes and unhappy consumers.
But last week I finally perfected the technique and made the perfect black bean burger. This is largely due to a recipe I found at The Innocent Primate Vegan Blog. Many thanks, Sara. From my colon and me.
Black Bean Burgers
via The Innocent Primate Vegan Blog with slight modifications
1 (15 ounce) can no-salt added black beans, drained and reserving “bean juice” [or I used 2 cups homemade black beans; recipe here]
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small or 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4-1/2 cup frozen corn
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs [I used Kroger-brand plain bread crumbs]
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
Chop the red bell pepper, onion and carrot as fine as you possibly can. This is one of those times that a Pampered Chef Food Chopper is a lifesaver. I know we wanna-be chefs get all snobby about chopping our vegetables the old fashioned way, but this is one of those times where the end justifies the means. The vegetables have to be microscopic for the patty to hold together well.
Saute red bell pepper, onion, garlic, corn and carrot in oil until soft, approx 5-8 min. Combine vegetables and black beans in a large bowl and mash together. Add remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. You want a lightly moist consistency, but not sopping. The bread crumbs help it keep its shape on the grill. If you need extra moisture, add a little of the “bean juice” or some fresh lime juice. Shape into patties.
Place patties on a piece of greased foil and put on a hot grill. Initially cooking them on foil will create a seared crust so they don’t fall through the grill (about 3 minutes on each side). After a crust begins, brush the patties with a little canola oil so they don’t stick to the grill, then move them to straight on the grill to get the grilled flavor.
These taste great with a generous helping of Dijon mustard on a homemade bun, but other toppings could include salsa, baby spinach and cilantro.