Black Bean Burgers

Sometimes I get cravings for inexplicable items of food. There is usually nothing conscious that triggers these cravings, but there is a nagging sense of ‘want’ that WILL NOT go away until I have satisfied the beast. Yesterday my brain and stomach decided they wanted Black Bean Burgers. The last time I ate a Black Bean Burger was over 2 years ago while I was visiting Seattle. It’s not like I eat these often and therefore think about them a lot. Quite the contrary… I give little thought to these beantastic burgers, so… I decided to succumb and introduce Judd to the joys of a well made meatless patty.

Easy to make and yummy to devour, we were both pleasantly surprised by the flavorful patty filled with earthy spices and a kick of heat. The black bean purée combined with a whole can of beans, fresh jalapeño and cilantro creates a burger with nice texture. Cumin, dried oregano and cayenne give this dish a latin flare and rich flavor that is just asking to be dressed up with fun condiments. Top these burgers with sour cream, salsa and avocado to brighten both your plate and taste buds.

Makes 4 servings

2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced, optional
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 soft hamburger buns, lightly toasted

Accompaniments: sour cream; salsa; avocado

Pulse 1 can beans in a food processor with mayonnaise, bread crumbs, cumin, oregano, and cayenne until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a bowl and stir in jalapeño, cilantro and remaining can beans. Form mixture into 4 patties.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook burgers until outsides are crisp and lightly browned, turning once, about 5 minutes total. Serve on buns.