I was a little skeptical before making these black bean burgers, because it can be difficult to make a veggie patty that coheres well and keeps its shape through the frying process. Fortunately this combination of mushrooms and black beans worked out wonderfully.
I used a hot-red-pepper-based blend of North African spices called harissa to give this burger a unique kick that accentuates the deep flavor of the black beans and the meaty taste of the mushrooms. The lemon aioli cuts the spice nicely and adds a refreshing finish.
You can make this recipe vegan by simply leaving out the egg, parmesan, and aioli. The consistency of the patty will be a little different, but it will still taste excellent.
spicy black bean burgers
For the patties
1 Tbsp olive oil (plus more for frying)
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
2 cups mushrooms, diced
1 can black beans
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon harissa spice blend
1 Tbsp wheat germ (optional)
1 Tbsp flax meal (optional)
¼ cup bread crumbs
salt (to taste)
For the toppings
lemon aioli (see recipe below)
6 hamburger buns
Sauté the garlic and shallot in olive oil over medium heat until translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the carrot and mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms are soft.
In the meantime, start mashing the black beans with a fork. When the mushrooms are cooked, add them to the black bean mash.
In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg. Add harissa, wheat germ, flax, parmesan, and bread crumbs to the egg.
Combine the egg mixture with the bean and mushroom mash.
Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a fry pan. Spoon some of the patty mixture into the hot oil. I used a spatula to form the mixture into nice round patties by pressing down on the tops and sides of the burgers. This process is fun and addicting. Once you have a nice shape, flip the patties as you would any burger and repeat the shaping process on the other side.
Once the patties are cooked, assemble the burgers however you like. I recommend toasting the buns lightly and topping them the patties with cheddar cheese, lemon aioli, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and avocado.
2 egg yolks, room temperature
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. Add the garlic and lemon juice. Very slowly, drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while constantly whisking. This process needs to be very slow in order for the combination of egg and oil to result in a nice, thick sauce, so exercise patience as you add the oil! Season with salt and pepper to taste.