Black Bean Burgers

Well, I’ve tried several recipes that are light at this point, and I think only one is post-worthy (the sweet potatoes from a few posts ago). So, I’m abandoning that approach, and going instead back to my old stomping grounds for good recipes. We tried this one last week, and I’m already sure it will grace our table many times in the future. It’s from the 2011 America’s Test Kitchen Annual, and I love the red pepper in it–it’s terrific. A suggested variation is to sub 1 T. minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce for the cayenne and replace 1/4 c. of the red pepper with 3/4 c. thawed frozen corn. Sounds like a good plan for next time.

Black Bean Burgers

2 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
2 large eggs
3 T. olive oil
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
1 shallot, minced (about 3 T.)

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Pulse the bread in a food processor to coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Spread the crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry, 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. {I just realized I skipped this step–the burgers were quite moist–I’m sure this dries them out and gives them quite a different, likely better, texture. But, foregoing it still produced great results.}

3. Whisk the eggs, 1 T. of the oil, the cumin, salt, and cayenne together in a small bowl. Place 2 1/2 cups of the beans in a large bowl and mash them with a potato masher until mostly smooth. Stir in the bread crumbs, egg mixture, remaining 1/2 c. beans, bell pepper, cilantro and shallot until just combined. Divide the bean mixture into 6 equal portions, about 1/2 c. each, and lightly pack into 1″ thick patties.

4. Heat 1 T. more oil in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully lay half of the patties in the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

5. Transfer the burgers to a plate and tent loosely with foil. Return the skillet to medium heat and repeat with the remaining 1 T. oil and remaining burgers. Serve.

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