Growing up, I loved veggie burgers. My favorite were Boca burgers, but in hindsight, I'm not sure why... they kind of have a funky taste and are probably the least tasty of all the veggie burgers that I've tried! None the less, I've always liked protein-rich veggie patties as a substitute for a run-of-the-mill beef burger. (Except for when it comes to pairing them with mushrooms & swiss cheese... I am still on a quest to solve this problem and will share the solution when I do!) Until 2012, I had no idea how one would go about making a veggie burger and was relegated to options from Morning Star, Boca, and Trader Joe's. However, one time when visiting my fiancé's family I was served the most delicious black bean burger and my future mother-in-law generously share the recipe! Since I was shown the light (and bought a food processor), last summer I went on on a veggie burger-creating spree, trying all kinds of combinations of beans, veggies, spices, and fillers. Sometimes I just add what I have on hand, but this recipe is one that I've honed and perfected and has been given the title of "the best burger I've ever made" by my fiancé.
While I've made many different veggie burgers, I have yet to share any of my veggie burger recipes on this blog. This is because I truly believe that a good veggie burger is best enjoyed outside in the warm sunshine. This past weekend called for sunny days and temperatures near 60F. While "grilling weather" was not quite realized, I was feeling overzealous and hopeful about the approach of summer and made both black bean and sweet potato-chickpea burgers (my other favorite) this past weekend. The two biggest tricks I've found are to add cornstarch to help the burgers stick together and to add mushrooms, which lend a meaty texture. Other than that, it's just about sticking roughly to a formulaic base (I really like the formula suggested by No Meat Athlete) and adding your favorite veggies and spices! I always make up a large batch of veggie burgers as the extras will keep perfectly in the freezer for weeks. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do! Keep your fingers crossed for the coming of spring and "grilling weather."
Spicy Black Bean Burgers
1c + 1/2c rolled oats (quick cook or regular)
1/2 small sweet onion
5 cloves garlic
1T liquid smoke
5oz baby bella mushrooms (1/2 package)
2c dry black beans, cooked to yield 5c cooked black beans (or 2 cans)
1c sweet yellow corn, cooked
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Add 1c rolled and cornstarch to food processor. Food process into a fine powder. I prefer quick cook rolled oats, since the regular can make the outsides of the burger a bit tough.
3. Add onion and garlic, then mushrooms. Food process to combine.
4. Add liquid smoke, sirracha, remaining 1/2c rolled oats, and 4c black beans. Food process to a coarse mixture.
5. Stir or mash in remaining 1c black beans and corn. I don't food process this last part as leaving some black beans and the corn whole adds good texture.
6. Form into patties and place on baking sheet. This should yield 8 good sized patties.
7. Bake for 40' at 350F, flipping halfway through to cook evenly.
8. Top with your favorite burger toppings and enjoy!