WANT A HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE FOR A HAMBURGER? Consider the Bean Burger. It’s high in fiber. It’s seasoned to perfection. And you can make the bean puree, as I do, hours (or even days) in advance of serving. Here’s the recipe for this vegetarian deliciousness which I promise even a meat-freak will enjoy:
I’ve made Bean Burgers from all kinds of canned beans, including cannellini and black-eyed peas. Those pictured here were made with organic navy beans. To remove the metallic taste of the can, I pour the beans into a fine-mesh sieve, and then run cold water over them.
Lots of bean-based burger recipes call for an egg. But I’ve performed numerous tests with the bean-puree mixture, and have found that an egg is not required in order for the patties to hold their shape. In fact, the addition of egg tends to make the mixture so liquid that it is difficult to work with.
Vegetarian Bean Burgers
Kevin Lee Jacobs, A Garden for the House (dot) com
Ingredients for about 8 patties
2 15.5 oz cans of Navy, Cannellini, or small White Beans
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 cup gluten-free oats (or regular rolled oats if you’re not on a GF diet)
1 tsp each salt and Montreal Steak seasoning
1 Tbs (or more) Worcestershire sauce* – Lea & Perrins is GF
Vegetable Oil for sauteing the patties
*Whoops! In the comments field below, reader Kara Martin Snyder informed me that Worcestershire sauce is not, in fact, vegetarian. It contains anchovies. Fortunately, “Annies” makes a vegetarian version of the sauce.
Special equipment – a food processor outfitted with the metal blade
1. Rinsing the beans – To remove the metallic taste of the can, pour the beans into a colander or sieve, and then run cold water over them. Drain.
2. Making the puree – Place the chopped onion and bell pepper in the bowl of the food processor, and process until the two are finely chopped — about 5 seconds. Add the beans, the seasonings, and the tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the bowl, and puree for 5 seconds. Finally, add the oats, and puree until the mixture seems fairly smooth. If the mixture is too stiff for the machine to run, add a bit more Worcestershire (or even water).
3. Chilling the puree – Scrape the bean puree into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for one hour or more. The puree will keep perfectly well in the fridge for at least 3 days.
4. Forming and frying the patties – Pour a glug of oil into a skillet, then set the skillet over a medium-high flame. To keep the puree from sticking to your hands, wet them with water. Then, by the half cup-full or so, scoop out and form patties, and fry them for about 4 minutes on each side. In a 12-inch skillet, you can fry 4 patties at a time.
5. Serving – You can serve the patties just as you would a hamburger — in a bun with lettuce, tomato, and a slice of onion. A homemade English muffin, in my opinion, makes a superior bun for a bean burger. And if you’ve grown bored with ketchup and mustard, you might prefer homemade mayonnaise, to which a clove or two of pureed garlic has been added.
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