Veggie burgers are hit or miss. They are at a disadvantage from the get-go purely because they are being compared to the real-deal meat filled burger patty, which would be hard for any veggie patty to compete with, unless you are talking about impossible patties or beyond burgers…both of which are great, BTW.
But I digress, let’s talk about this recipe for veggie burgers. They are anything but boring, loaded with texture and flavor, and they definitely top the dry, flavorless patties that you can buy in the frozen section of the grocery store. Are they comparable to a meat patty in the way that they taste? Not really, but they are perfect for what they are!
They are, indeed, a labor of love. They will take some time to make, but the payoff is worth it and they make quite a few patties. Make sure you use short grain brown rice, because you really need the fat, chewy grains of the rice to add great texture to these burgers. Another secret to success is drying out the black beans in the oven prior to adding them to the burger mixture. Bake the beans until they have cracked open and are no longer soggy and wet, this will ensure they do not turn your burger patty into mush. The final addition that is so crucial, are the walnuts. They hold their texture beautifully and add great bite to these patties.
One final, optional, but totally recommended ingredient, is the chile crack from the Our Kitchen: At Home cookbook. Added into the burger mixture, it gives a smoky, spicy, flavor that adds so much depth and deliciousness. Chile crack is divine in and on just about everything, and these burgers are no exception.
Serve these burgers on a bun or wrapped up in lettuce, but do not skimp on the toppings! I love mayonnaise (a lot of mayonnaise), salted tomato slices, thick slices of pickles and loads of caramelized onions.
1 cup short grain brown rice, cooked per package instructions
4, 15.5 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chopped sweet potato
1 pound mushrooms, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
Spread the black beans onto a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake the beans for 25 minutes, or until they are completely dry and cracked open.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté for 5-8 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Turn the heat down if they begin to brown.
Add the sweet potato, mushrooms, jalapeño and salt to the pan and continue to sauté for 15-20 minutes, until the mushrooms have cooked down and the sweet potato is tender.
When the sweet potatoes are tender, add the tamari and paprika to the pan and sauté just until the liquid from the tamari has evaporated and the paprika is fragrant. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, combine the veggie mixture with the warm rice, black beans, chopped walnuts and the egg. Stir until well combined, then form into 10 evenly sized patties (make sure that they are well packed). Chill the patties in the refrigerator for at least two hours before cooking so that they can set.
To cook them stovetop, heat a large skillet over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. When hot, add the patties and cook them for 5-7 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown and heated all the way through.
Serve with your toppings of choice!
¼ cup olive oil
8 onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
Big pinch salt
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium low heat.
Add the onions and salt to the pan and stir to coat the onions in oil. Cook, stirring often, for 30-40 minutes, until the onions have melted down and turned into a sweet, jammy, consistency.