Americans are increasingly seeking vegetarian menu options. The increase in what is being called “flexitarian” eating is being driven by concerns about health and the environment. This vegetarian burger has a satisfying, full flavor and meaty texture. For a variation from plain hamburger buns, try them served in whole-wheat pita pockets with hummus or with your favorite condiments and “extras”. (Recipe courtesy of Northarvest Bean Growers Association.)

  • 4 C black beans, cooked
  • 1 C red potato, cooked and smashed
  • ½ C sour cream
  • 1 C bread crumbs, toasted (opt for whole grain when possible)
  • 2 t garam masala
  • 1 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • ½ t black pepper, ground
  • 1 C cilantro, chopped
  • ½ C bread crumbs, for coating burgers (opt for whole grain when possible)
  • ¼ C canola oil, for cooking
  • 6 hamburger buns (opt for whole grain when possible)
  • lettuce leaves
  • tomato slices
  • mayonnaise (substitute hummus or mustard for a healthier option)

Recipe Key: C= cup; t = teaspoon

Pulse 2 cups black beans in a food processor with sour cream, bread crumbs, garam masala, cayenne, kosher salt, and pepper until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cooked and mashed red potatoes the cilantro and the remaining 2 cups of black beans. Fold gently to combine and chill for 30 minutes. Form mixture into 10 patties and dredge each in the bread crumbs to coat.

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

PHOTOGRAPHY: The Culinary Institute of America

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