As I’ve mentioned here before, I have a vast experience in unsuccessful veggie burger experiments. You see, I love a good veggie burger, but they are so rarely good. My biggest complaint is the texture; they are often too mushy or too dry (or inexplicably both), with a flat and uninteresting flavor. This recipe, however, is pretty close to perfect. The trick (which I learned here) is to roast your cooked black beans in the oven first, which deepens their flavor and improves their texture. This extra step is well worth the work, you will be rewarded with the perfect veggie burger every time!
Black Bean Walnut Burgers
- 3 cups (500 g) cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 2 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3/4 cup (75 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup (75 g) finely crumbled feta
- 2 tablespoons (50 g) mayonnaise
- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup (40 – 80 g) bread crumbs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 6 hamburger buns (recipe here)
- garnishes and condiments as desired (cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, hot sauce, chipotle mayonnaise, etc)
For 6 veggie burgers
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread black beans in a single layer on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in hot oven until beans are mostly split open and outer skins are beginning to get crunchy, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add grated zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often. Add a pinch of salt and the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a large bowl.
Add the coarsely chopped walnuts to the bowl with the onions and zucchini. When the beans have cooled, transfer to the bowl of a food processor with the crumbled feta. Pulse until beans are roughly chopped, but not a smooth paste. The mixture should be somewhat chunky. Transfer beans to the bowl with the onion/zucchini mixture. Add the mayonnaise, egg and 1/4 cup bread crumbs and season with salt, pepper and ground cumin. Fold together gently but thoroughly with hands. If the mixture is too wet and sticky to form patties, add some more bread crumbs until you reach the desired consistency. (Patty mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.)
Form the bean mixture into 6 patties the same size as your burger buns (they will not shrink during cooking like beef burgers). Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add a few patties and cook, gently shaking pan occasionally, until well browned and crisp on first side, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until second side is browned, about 5 minutes longer, adding cheese if desired.
Toast the buns and assemble burgers with desired condiments. Serve immediately.