Like a lot of people, my husband and I have cut back on our red meat consumption. It wasn’t completely intentional, but over time we have definitely shifted to eating more fish and meatless meals at home than ever before.
But, I am not one who will ever completely give up red meat. Is that ok to say out loud?
Not only do we now have better options for purchasing carefully sourced, hormone free meats, but also I really can’t imagine summer without a steak or burger on the grill. Especially if it’s my friend, Ellen’s, Spicy Flank Steak which I will post to the website sometime soon!
During this time of unconscious uncoupling with red meat, my husband discovered the black bean burgers at Au Bon Pain and while he was waxing poetic about them one day with our vegetarian daughter, I could feel my
competitive creative juices flowing. I thought if I found a tasty double-B burger I could make for us at home, it would add to my meatless meals repetoire.
Daily Garnish had a recipe that looked appealing, but I’ve adapted it over time. The original recipe had carrots, pepitas and cinnamon which I eliminated. I added grated zucchini and an egg for moisture and some turmeric, a spice with so many health benefits and one I am trying to incorporate into more dishes. Paired with my Lemon-Yogurt Sauce, the burgers are pretty darn delish I have to say.
I’ve made the burgers both into three bite sliders (the recipe will make about 12-14) and full sized burgers (the recipe makes 6). Toasted potato rolls are perfect for the sliders because black bean burgers can be a little messy to eat and the softer roll helps keep it all together. My preference is toasted ciabatta bread which I show with the larger burger. The crunchy bread provides a nice contrast with the soft burger.
The tang of the yogurt sauce pairs nicely with the spicy burger, but you can enjoy these with any combination of traditional burger toppings you like. Napkins necessary! While the burgers are not super spicy, you can definitely cut back on the chili powder and/or cayenne pepper if you are feeding sensitive palates.
A couple of tips. After forming the patties, make sure to refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes. They need time to firm up so that they won’t fall apart during the cooking process. The longer you keep them in the fridge prior to cooking, the better your results will be.
Also, take a look at the expiration dates on your spices! I am giving you permission to throw out anything older than 1 year. Spices do lose their flavor over time and fresh spices will really make a difference with this recipe.
I am now a big fan of buying my spices from the bulk bins at stores like Debra’s Natural Gourmet. If you haven’t purchased spices from the bulk bins, seek some out and compare the smell and flavor side by side with what’s in your spice drawer right now. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Also, check out your local Penzey’s store for chili powder. Lots of varieties.
The next time you go to purchase “garden” or “veggie” burgers from the grocery store, I hope you’ll give these Black Bean Burgers a try. Their texture alone is worth it!
Thanks to my friends Sally and Maureen who thought they were going on a dog walk and ended up tasting a black bean burger! Thanks also to Maureen’s kids who were my unbiased taste testers having enjoyed the sliders for dinner!
Please let me know what you think in the comments! And ps – if you are on Facebook please “like” The Kitchen Scout for more content between posts!
The main ingredients.
One of the sliders gets its closeup
Sharing the spotlight
Another shot of the cuteness. I think these would make a really fun party appetizer. You can definitely serve them at room temperature.
Dinner is served!