Canned black beans are a must-have staple to have on hand for quick protein-rich meals. Because these burgers work best if the patties are chilled before cooking, this is a great do-ahead choice for a busy weeknight dinner. If you can’t find good tomatoes at the market, you can top the burgers with guacamole instead.
Black Bean Bruschetta Burgers
5 ripe plum or Campari tomatoes, seeded and chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 1⁄2 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 can (15 oz./470 g) black beans, rinsed and drained
6 Tbs. (1 1⁄2 oz./45 g) panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1⁄4 cup (1 1⁄2 oz./45 g) finely chopped yellow onion
1 large egg
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 slices Monterey jack cheese
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 ciabatta buns, split and toasted
In a nonreactive bowl, combine the tomatoes with half of the garlic and 1 1⁄2 Tbs. of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss and let stand at room temperature.
Place the beans on a plate lined with paper towels. Using paper towels, blot them dry. Transfer to a bowl and, using a potato masher or fork, smash the beans just enough so they still have some chunks. Add the bread crumbs, onion, egg, the remaining garlic and the cumin. Season well with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Form into 4 patties and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in a nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the black bean burgers and cook, turning once, until golden brown and warmed through, about 4 minutes per side. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, top the burgers with cheese and cover the pan to allow the cheese to melt.
Just before serving, stir the basil into the tomato mixture. Set the black bean burgers on the bottom buns and top with generous helpings of the tomatoes. Close the burgers and serve immediately. Serves 4.
For this and more ideas for burgers you’ll want to serve every night of the week, check out our new Burger Night, by Kate McMillan.