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    A pantry-friendly veggie burger

    Aaron Hutcherson

    THE WASHINGTON POST – Black bean burgers have always been, and probably forever will be, my favourite type of plant-based burger. While I do eat burgers made from animals too, those made from beans can be just as flavourful and satisfying – and sometimes even more so. (Take into account the environmental impact of replacing beef with beans and my love for black bean burgers is even stronger). While plant-based patties are widely available at grocery stores, here is a pantry-friendly recipe so you can have the pleasure of making your own.

    I love the earthiness of black beans, and here I complement that with umami from canned mushrooms and tamari or soy sauce. The patties are seasoned with garlic powder and smoked paprika for even more flavour. Oats are a great pantry-friendly ingredient to use as a binder while adding texture.

    A food processor makes quick work out of mashing the beans and chopping the mushrooms, but you can just as easily make these burgers without one. One thing to note when preparing bean burgers is that it’s important to let the patties rest for a few minutes so they better retain their shape and are less likely to fall apart during cooking.

    As good as these patties are, toppings are equally important in determining the overall enjoyment of a burger. Feel free to grab a slice of cheese or your favourite condiments and call it a day. Or use the time while the burgers are resting to make balsamic-glazed onions that add acidity, a hint of sweetness and a little crunch.

    A food processor makes quick work out of mashing the beans and chopping the mushrooms, but you can just as easily make these burgers without one. PHOTOS: THE WASHINGTON POST
    Mushroom and black bean burgers with balsamic-glazed onions

    MUSHROOM AND BLACK BEAN BURGERS WITH BALSAMIC-GLAZED ONIONS

    Ingredients

    – Fifteen-ounce canned no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
    – 13.25 ounce canned mushrooms, drained and rinsed
    – Half cup rolled old-fashioned oats
    – One tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
    – One teaspoon smoked paprika
    – Half teaspoon garlic powder
    – Half teaspoon ground black pepper
    – Half teaspoon fine salt, divided
    – Three tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
    – One medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
    – One tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    – Burger buns
    – Toppings such as cheese, lettuce, slices of tomato, pickles, mustard and/or ketchup

    Directions

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the beans, mushrooms, oats, tamari, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper and quarter teaspoon of salt and pulse until the mushrooms are finely chopped and the mixture is evenly combined, 10 to 15 seconds. (Alternatively, use a fork to mash the beans in a large mixing bowl until mushy but not totally smooth. Chop the mushrooms by hand.

    Add the mushrooms and the remaining ingredients to the beans and stir until evenly combined). Form the mixture into four patties that are about three-and-a-half inches in diameter, using about half cup of the mixture for each. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes while you make the onions.

    In a large skillet over medium heat, heat one tablespoon of the oil until it shimmers. Add the onions and the remaining quarter teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion begins to soften and turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring regularly, until it reduces and coats the onion, about three minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

    In the same skillet, add the remaining two tablespoons of the oil, increase the heat to medium-high and heat until the oil shimmers. Add the burgers and cook until nicely browned, about four minutes per side. Serve on buns, topped with some of the balsamic-glazed onions along with cheese, lettuce, slices of tomato, pickles, mustard and/or ketchup, if desired.

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