You could be out grilling in this weather. But, if you don’t feel like it quite yet (it is a little windy out there), this is a sunny meal that feels like summer whenever/wherever/in whatever weather it is consumed. I admit that it does not contain all local ingredients, but there is nothing like an avocado anywhere (even though I feel extra guilty because apparently they take a lot of water to grow, and in California no less. Ugh). If you feel particularly concerned you can skip the avocado.
Fortunately, we are so lucky as to be able to access local salsa (made from hydroponic Maine-grown tomatoes) and salad mix (greenhouses!). If you froze corn from the cob this summer (do it this year if you didn’t, it’s amazing), you’re set on that front, and should be able to get red onions still too (or find them sprouting in the corner). Plus, you can get whole wheat flour locally to make the buns. And local beans too! All in all, not bad.
Unrelatedly, here’s a funny sheep video, sheparded by a drone! What will they think of next?
Burgers often require breadcrumbs, which are particularly necessary for the structural integrity of black bean burgers. I’ve always made my own breadcrumbs: toast bread (a lot, you want it super dry) and put it in the food processor until crumby. This sometimes takes me a while, I think because it’s not dry enough. The recipe I adapted (from Spoon Fork Bacon) also added oatmeal, which I like for a little extra texture (and fiber).
This also takes a little planning, since you have to cook the beans first (if you’re like me), and the batter (?) needs to chill for a few hours before you cook it. Something to keep in mind.
Black bean burgers 1/2 onion 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped 3 cloves garlic 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained (or 1 can) 1/2 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup frozen yellow corn (optional; hopefully from an local ear!) 1 green onion, if you have it 2 teaspoons cumin Cayenne 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs (make your own—see above) 1 egg Salt and pepper Oil for cooking (3-4 tablespoons) Burger buns! (I used King Arthur's recipe with a little whole wheat, delicious!) Condiments! Chipotle mayo: mix mayo with chipotle, and let sit for a little while Cheese (cheddar) Tomatoes Avocado More corn Sliced onions Lettuce/salad mix Salsa! (necessary) Hot sauce (optional)
Get out your food processor! I had to do this in batches with my mini one. Throw in the onion, jalapeno, and garlic, and pulse a bit. Add 1/2 the beans and everything else (except the oil) and pulse. Taste and adjust, scrape down, and pulse again—it should be a little chunky but come together. Add the rest of the beans and pulse once or twice, just to integrate them. Put in a bowl, cover, and chill for a few hours.
Remove from fridge. Heat oil in a heavy skillet, and turn to medium heat. Form the mixture into patties (size is up to you, and the burger buns). Cook (this is the tricky part) for at least 6 minutes on each side, probably longer (this feels like a super long time, and it is. Length of cooking time is the only way to make it hold together). Flip carefully. Each side should develop a crust and get heated through—adjust the heat as necessary if you feel like they are burning before getting cooked (turn down), or aren’t getting a crust (turn up).
Assemble burgers on buns with all the condiments (put cheese on right away or even in the pan if you want it to melt a little). Have fun.
Goes well with beer, but what about afterward? How about pear brandy, with the pear grown in the bottle? Sweet, non?