Saturday, 18 April 2015

Friday night black bean burgers

I bought some organic black beans last weekend with no real idea what I'd use them for. I was thinking maybe burritos or a chili, but I fell back on the old faithful: burgers. I've stopped buying frozen processed veggie burgers, they contain so much stuff I am dubious about, these are so healthy and way cheaper too! Recently I have been trying to use up all our fresh produce and store cupboard ingredients, because I have large tubs of gram flour, polenta and spices that were getting forgotten about. So two days ago I soaked the beans overnight, and yesterday I boiled them for 1.5 hours, so they were cold and ready to go today. Talk about the slow food movement, 3 days in the making!

This recipe made 14 patties, enough for 14 kids or 7 adults, I'm going to freeze most of them as we're only going to eat 3 here today. No real quantities, sorry, I eyeballed everything. Feel free to make your own version with whatever you have to hand, but this might give you a general idea of how to make them. So into the food processor with the chopping blade I put: 1 carrot, 1 onion, 3 large cloves of garlic, 1/2 a green pepper, blitzed this all to a finely chopped consistency, then poured it into a large bowl. I added lots of black beans to the bowl of chopped veg with the intention of mashing them in with a fork, but that was way too much work, so I just stirred them in. Into the food processor I put 2 eggs and a lot more black beans, and blitzed to a pulp, so I had a grey sludge. It was at that stage my 6 year old asked was THAT going to be dinner... 

I mixed the egg/bean mixture into the chopped stuff, then added lots of Maldon salt, black pepper, a tablespoon of soaked ground flaxseeds, same amount of sesame seeds, some paprika, cumin, garam masala... basically whatever I laid my eyes on. The mixture was too wet so I added about a cupful of gram flour which is high in protein, still too wet so I added some polenta as I know that soaks up liquid like a good thing. I left it sit for about half an hour, then shaped it into patties, dipped them in more polenta and left them resting on plates in the fridge for about another half hour. The resting in the fridge bit is a new step to me, but it really helps them hold their shape when frying. I had none break on me for the first time ever!

When I was ready to fry them I heated olive oil in a frying pan, fried on a low-medium heat as the gram flour needs to cook or it adds an unpleasant taste. We had no burger buns, so ate them between slices of highly processed baguette. They'd also be great in a pitta. I like mine with cheese, so when I flipped mine to cook the second side I topped it with grated extra mature cheddar and put a lid over the pan so the cheese melted. Ketchup and rocket salad did me, the kiddo had his with ketchup only. The youngest just ate bread and ketchup...  We ate some more today and the extras are sitting in the freezer ready to go for a quick midweek dinner. Today I had a bean burger alongside my cheesy spaghetti with more rocket, really yum.

Let me know if you try them, and how you serve them.

Nee x

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