Spicy Black Bean Burgers

Spicy Black Bean Burgers LDThis year (2016)  the world is celebrating pulses…those amazing, protein-packed, easy to cook legumes that are so at home in Canada. Here’s a recipe that you can use at any time of the year.

The ‘burger’ mixture can be prepared a day ahead of time and cooked either for full size burger buns but we love them as sliders. Top them with lentil sprouts (to carry on the same colour theme, we sprout beluga lentils), a bit of good locally made mustard (Canada grows the finest mustard seed on earth), some green salsa and a pungent garlic mayonnaise (aioli) Or, if you get ambitious, make your own ketchup.

To cook black turtle beans, cover them deeply with cold water and salt lightly. Let stand overnight at room temperature. Drain and transfer to saucepan. Cover well with water (no salt this time), bring to a boil and simmer 25 – 30 minutes or until tender. If you need to add water during this cooking process, use hot or boiling water and it will maintain the colour of the beans.

  • 1 ½ cups cooked black turtle beans or 19 oz (540 mL) tin black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large green onions, coarsely chopped or one chopped, medium-sized red onion
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) ancho chili powder
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 small dried chili, crushed or ½ tsp chili flakes
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) salt
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) finely crushed lentil or tortilla chips
  • 2 tbsps (30mL) whole wheat flour
  • Canola or olive oil, as needed for frying
  • Whole wheat burger buns, as needed
  • Sprouted beluga lentils, as needed (see note below)

Dry the cooked beans on a kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels to remove the excess moisture. Let stand for about 10 minutes.

Combine the egg, green onion, garlic, spices and salt in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Measure in crushed lentil chips. Pulse a few more times till the lentil chips look as though they are dissolving into the mixture. Measure in the black beans and flour. Pulse, scrapping down the sides from time to time, till the mixture is coarsely chopped. With a spatula, transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes or till firm.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and swirl in enough oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. From mixture into patties and saute till golden brown on both sides.  Keep warm till serving.

Makes about 6 – 8 burgers.

Sprouting lentils

 

NOTE: To sprout lentils, put 2 -3 tbsps (30 – 45 mL) into a glass jar and cover the top with cheese-cloth holding it in place with the jar ring.  Put under a tap of cold running water and rinse, inverting the jar to drain.

Now, fill with cool water and let stand overnight.  In the morning, drain, set the jar on its side and let stand for a day; repeat the rinsing daily till, after about 3 – 4 days, tiny shoots appear.  Once they’re starting to turn green, rinse one final time and refrigerate.

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