It’s weird to think that just today I was making fun of Guy Fieri on the Facebook page, yet when I first made these burgers, I had never heard of him. Oh, the innocence of the Aughts. Of course, it was the Tweens that brought us this gem of a review on Guy’s American Tourist Trap in Times Square: I’m a decade-is-half-full kind of girl.
. . .
I must admit, I’ve been pretty successful in my New Year’s resolution to use more dried beans in my cooking. In fact, it’s opened up whole new avenues of cooking for me, because, let’s face it: your basic white beans, black beans and red beans that are available canned in supermarkets are not that exciting. Flageolet? Christmas lima? Calypso? Lina Cisco’s Birds Egg? The very names make me want to try them out, not to mention that the dried beans themselves are often gorgeous, tiny, miraculous works of art.
The interesting side effect of my new found admiration for dried beans, however, is that there has been a pile of canned beans, neglected and dusty, sitting in the back of my cabinet for months. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still keep a can or two of canned beans on hand, for last-minute hummus or a quick weeknight black bean salad. But as I had several cans of beans kicking around, and even canned beans expire eventually, I thought I would search out something interesting to do with them. Some Googling time later, I happened upon a recipe for veggie burgers by Guy Fieri (who is apparently a chef on the Food Network: I don’t really watch TV cooking shows, so I’ve never heard of this chef). The burgers turned out well: tasty, good texture, lots of complex flavor from the long list of herbs and spices added to the mix. They freeze well and make for a great quick lunch and the recipe is adaptable to whatever local, fresh vegetables you have on hand. Best of all, I’ve cleared out quite a few neglected cans of beans; only to make room for more heirloom dried beans, I’m sure.
Adapted from Morgan’s Veggie Patties, Guy Fieri, 2008
- 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
- 1 and ½ cups mixed vegetables, coarsely chopped (onion, garlic, bell pepper, radish, carrot, chile pepper, olives, etc. – see Options for details)
- about 5 cups mixed cooked beans (three 15-oz cans or about 8 oz net weight of each bean: I usually choose a black, a white, and a cranberry variety)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp red chile flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp celery salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp crumbled dried sage
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ bulghur wheat or breadcrumbs
- 2 cups (6 oz) rolled oats
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Add chopped vegetables to the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until finely chopped. Heat oil or butter in a medium frying pan until shimmering, but not smoking. Add vegetables, reduce heat to medium-low, and sauté until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add beans to the bowl of your food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times until beans are coarsely chopped (you can also mash beans with a potato masher). For a smoother consistency burger, process one variety of bean to a smooth purée, then coarsely chop the other two. Transfer beans to a large bowl, add vegetables and mix thoroughly.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together eggs, herbs and spices. Add bulghur wheat and oats: mix well. Add oats mixture to bean mixture, add Worcestershire sauce and lime juice, and mix thoroughly, using your hands to break up any large clumps as necessary. Chill for 30 minutes prior to forming patties. A straight-sided dish or biscuit cutter, lined with plastic wrap or spritzed with oil, makes short work of patty-forming.
- To cook one burger, heat about 1 tbsp butter or olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add burger, which should sizzle but not spit. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the burger is heated through and browned and crispy on each side.
Yields 8 – 10 burgers.
- I change up the vegetables, herbs & spices every time I make these. The pictured version contains: carrot, parsnip, radish, scallion, ramps, garlic, cilantro, chipotle and Meyer lemon. Finely chopped greens work fine, as do crunchy vegetables: avoid very wet vegetables, like tomatoes, summer squash, or cucumber.
- The only ‘major’ change I made to the original recipe was to cut the amount of rolled oats in half (technically, left it the same while doubling everything else). These are already quite oaty, and my first attempt was too dry, so I think the full amount of oats would be way too much.
- For a gluten-free version, the bulghur wheat/breadcrumbs can easily be omitted and the oats GF. A vegan version would be difficult with eggs as binder, I suspect.
These burgers are best made in advance and chilled in the refrigerator prior to cooking. If you plan to hold them for more than 24 hours, freeze the patties, double-wrapped, for up to 3 months.
Year-round with seasonal vegetables.