When I was first trying out a mostly vegetarian lifestyle (back in 2007), I immediately fell in love with two meals: pineapple pizza and black bean burgers. Which probably don't sound like the healthiest of choices. These were basically veggie versions of two of my (then) current favorite foods.
Ever since then I've been trying to create my favorite homemade version of black bean burgers. This is my new favorite.
1/4 red onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 15 oz. can black beans
1 8 oz. can sweet corn
1/4 cup uncooked oats
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 egg (optional)*
a few drops liquid smoke (optional)
Cook the rice according to the package directions. Typically it calls for double the amount of water to rice. You can use a teaspoon less water than usual, as we want the rice to be cooked but not soggy (excess water will cause the patties to fall apart easier).
Chop up the red onion and mince the garlic. Sauté in a teaspoon or two of olive oil until soft (4–5 minutes over medium heat).
In a food processor combine half of the black beans (drain the can first), the cooked onion and garlic, cumin, cayenne powder, and liquid smoke (if using). Process a couple times using the pulse option. You don't want to puree the mix, but you do want everything chopped up well.
Use a sharp knife to chop up the oats. In a large bowl combine the batter from the food processor, the oats, the cooked brown rice and the egg (if using), the remaining black beans, and the canned corn (drain the can first). Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight (this helps dry the mix out a little bit).
*If you'd like to keep these burgers vegan-friendly, you can easily leave the egg out. The egg does help to bind the burgers together, but if you're careful as you cook they'll still turn out very good without the egg.
Form 4 patties from the mix. I like to place the patties on 4 small sheets of parchment paper so when I'm ready to cook I can place the patty into my hot pan and simply peel the back layer of parchment paper off.
Cook in a large pan or skillet with a little olive oil over medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Carefully flip them when they are half done, much like you would a pancake.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with Summer of the Signature Collection.