At the green table: black bean burgers

at the green table: black bean burgers

at the green table: black bean burgers


Black Bean Burgers

2 (15 oz) cans of organic black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed, no salt added and packed in a BPA free can, such as Eden Black Beans or your favorite black beans

1 cup farro perlato, cooked according to package directions, you can substitute cooked semi-pearled or whole farro or brown rice and adjust time accordingly

1/4 cup white miso paste, you can substitute 1/4 cup fermented black beans, (both are strong flavors, so adjust to your taste)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup of all purpose flour

1 medium yellow onion, minced

4 cloves of garlic, minced, or to taste

1 fresh red chili pepper, or jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced, you can substitute a pinch of dry

red chili flakes

1/4 cup tahini

2 tbsp Tamari, you can substitute your favorite soy sauce

2 tbsp Dijon mustard, or your favorite mustard

2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander pinch of cayenne, or to taste

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

extra-virgin olive oil


Your choice of tomatoes, sliced onions, cheese (American, cheddar, Monterey Jack, or any good melting cheese), lettuce, sprouts, guacamole, ketchup, mustard, sriracha aioli from Stonewall Kitchen, or whatever you prefer.

Serve on a toasted onion roll, english muffin, brioche or hamburger bun.


Preheat oven to 350o F.

First, partially dehydrating the beans will improve the texture of the beans and help avoid a soft or mushy burger. To do this, spread the rinsed and drained black beans in a single layer on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Using your hands, dry the beans. Transfer the black beans to a large bowl.    Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and toss the beans to coat with the oil. Remove the paper towel and line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the beans in a single layer on the baking sheet and place the sheet in the middle position of the oven. If you need two baking sheets for the beans, place the other sheet on the top rack of the oven. Roast, shaking occasionally, until the beans get crunchy and start to split open, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Add about 1 tbsp of olive oil to a hot sauté pan, over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and fresh red chili pepper and cook for about 1 minute more.. Let the mixture cool.

In a bowl, mash the beans with a the back of a fork until fairly smooth, but with some texture. Some of the beans can remain whole. (You can also use a food processor.) Stir in the farro, onion mixture, miso, flour, tahini, Tamari, mustard, parsley, thyme, cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Stir in the lightly beaten eggs. At this point you should have a moist mixture . If it is too moist you can add a bit more flour to firm it up.    A bit of water or more egg can also be used to moisten the bean mixture

The black bean mixture can be kept in the refrigerator for several days, or frozen. If you freeze the black bean mixture, it is a good idea to form individual bean burgers, using about 1/3 cup of the mixture for each burger, before freezing them. To freeze place the burgers on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze, about 1 hour. Then wrap each individual burger in parchment paper and store in an airtight plastic bag or container.

To cook the bean burgers, heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or heavy bottom sauté pan over medium heat. If the heat is too high, the outside of the burgers will finish before the middle of the burger is cooked. Place about 1/3 of a cup of the bean mixture into the pan for each bean burger and flatten with a spatula. The burger should be about 1/2” thick. Cook the the burgers on both sides until golden brown and cooked all the way through, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. (If you prefer a thicker bean burger, form the burgers and refrigerate them for 30 minutes. Then lower the heat to medium low and cook about 5 to 7 minutes per side.)

You can add a few drops of Tamari to the top of the bean burgers, for additional flavor, while they are cooking and melt some cheese on top while the second side is cooking.

black bean burgers

black bean burgers

Serve on a toasted onion roll, english muffin, brioche or hamburger bun and the garnishes of your choice. You could also include some crisp oven fries.