When I published my Pretzel Bun recipe back in March, I, of course, used them to serve spectacular cheeseburgers. A friend of mine who was once a vegetarian and sometimes still leans toward legless food challenged me to come up with a veggie patty to fill those gorgeous buns.
I failed. I could never come up with a veggie patty that could stand up to that substantial bun.
While I am partial to meat, I do enjoy the occasional vegetarian dish. When eating vegetarian though, there is one thing I can not stand. Dishes that pretend to be meat. If I want something that tastes, “Just like a hamburger”, I’ll eat a freakin’ hamburger. Don’t try to disguise tofu as steak or pass some paste made out of ground chickpea flour off as meat.
These black bean patties don’t commit that sin. They are proudly veggie, but with lots of flavor, great texture and nice smokey, spicy kick.
I didn’t deviate from Serious Eats recipe, so you can just go there for the how-to.
Make sure you don’t dry out the beans too much during the roasting step. You need enough moisture to hold the patties together during shaping and cooking.
Kenji said 20 minutes in the recipe. That was too long for my oven. After about 15 minutes the beans were split open and starting to get too dry. I suggest checking them after 10 minutes and erring on the side of too moist.
I cooked mine on my griddle. I was afraid if I tried to grill them on the Egg, they would fall apart. My daughter wants them again, so I might try grilling them next time.
A Note on Shredded Lettuce
I’m not a big fan of ice burg lettuce. It’s flavorless. It has little to no texture. As a base for a salad there are a dozen better options. In general, I leave it at the store.
But there is one decent use for ice burg. Shredded, as a base for a burger.
Shredding lettuce transforms it into a crunchy bed that adds a textural surprise to a burger. It also keeps a juicy, condiment laden burger from soaking through the bottom bun.
Just take a thin wedge of lettuce and slice about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. Put a generous layer on the bottom bun and build the rest of the burger on top of that.