I thought these burgers were incredibly tasty. The recipe is very versatile – you can basically use any type of bean, and any type of seasoning spice. I chose chick peas and a barbeque spice rub. These burgers came together in no time at all – a couple of pulses in the food processor was all that it took to pull them together. The recipe talks about adding extra liquid if necessary, and I was all set with my bottle of white wine, but I definitely didn’t need to add any liquid. The mixture was very wet, and I actually wondered if I was going to be able to make patties out of it. I thought they’d lack structural integrity, but after letting them rest in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, they held together nicely in the pan when I cooked them.
I didn’t eat mine on a hamburger bun with all of the fixings, although it would have been delicious that way. I ate it straight with sides of green salad and fresh corn salad. Mmmmm. A delicious vegetarian meal . We don’t eat nearly enough vegetarian meals, but these burgers are so easy and have so many variations that we’re going to be eating them all the time.
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2 cups well-cooked white, black, or red beans or chickpeas or lentils, or one 14-ounce can, drained (I used chickpeas)
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2 cup rolled oats (preferably not instant)
1 tablespoon chili powder or spice mix of your choice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bean-cooking liquid, stock, or other liquid (wine, cream, milk, water, ketchup, etc.) if necessary
Extra virgin olive oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, as needed
Combine the beans, onion, oats, chili powder, salt, pepper, and egg in a food processor and pulse until chunky but not puréed, adding a little liquid if necessary (this is unlikely but not impossible) to produce a moist but not wet mixture. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes if time allows.
With wet hands, shape into whatever size patties you want and again let rest for a few minutes if time allows. (You can make the burger mixture or even shape the burgers up to a day or so in advance. Just cover tightly and refrigerate, then bring everything back to room temperature before cooking.) Film the bottom of a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet with oil and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the patties. Cook until nicely browned on one side, about 5 minutes; turn carefully and cook on the other side until firm and browned.
Serve on buns with the usual burger fixings. Or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use.
Yield: 4 burgers