Since I found a foundational recipe for bean burgers in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, there’s been no turning back. I’ve long aspired to make homemade veggie burgers, but my few attempts at the pan-fried variety were messy and challenging. These, on the other hand, are simple to mash together and stick in the oven. A wonderful way to use whatever leftover beans and grains you have laying around… it has quickly become a standby in our weekly menu here at Ampersand, wrapped in a chard or Chinese cabbage leaf with all the fixin’s.
There are tons of other variations listed in the original recipe (which I just discovered is posted online!) They definitely sound fun to play around with. So far though, this is how I’ve always made them. Practically know the recipe by heart by now, it’s so simple and versatile.
2 cups cooked beans, drained of most of the liquid — great if they are already seasoned!
1/2 cup cooked grain (rice, quinoa, millet, oatmeal) or mashed potato
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon or so of salt, and whatever other seasoning you care for
Mash together ingredients to form a chunky dough. If you wish, the dough can be refrigerated overnight, which helps the oats soak overnight. Form handfuls of the dough into patties — wet hands between every couple to minimize sticking, and add more oats or oat flour if it’s still too wet and sticky, and place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 20-35 minutes, until lightly crispy on the bottom and firm enough to hold together and flip. Bake another 7-15 minutes on the other side, until golden to your liking, bearing in mind that they will get a bit firmer and drier as they cool. You could also pan-fry them if you are into that kind of thing, I suppose, especially if you just want a few at a time.
Solar Cooking: Place patties on greased baking sheet, uncovered, and leave in the solar box oven for about 2 fairly sunny hours. Flip to the other side and allow to cook 30 minutes or so until firm. The second side will take less time, and will become dry and brittle (but still yummy) if left too long. It may also be necessary to wipe condensation from the glass once or twice during baking.