When I saw Ella Woodward’s take on a black bean burger in her new book, “Deliciously Ella Every Day,” it seemed a little too good to be true: just 10 ingredients (including salt and pepper), with the promise they would take only 10 minutes to throw together. But they met my top two criteria: You mash the beans with a fork, leaving some whole beans apparent, and stir in the other ingredients, including chickpea flour, tomato paste and applesauce, all of which help bind.
Sure enough, they come together in no time and get nice and crisp on the edges from a brief turn in the skillet. They’re moist inside (and tasty, thanks to a seasoning mix of chili powder, tamari, vinegar and lime) but not mushy.
I’m not sure whether they’re quite substantial enough to be easily eaten between buns without some squishing, but there’s an easy fix for that: a knife and a fork.
These super-simple veggie burgers come together in just a few minutes.
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Serve with greens and sweet potato (or other) fries.
Black Bean Burgers
3 1/2 cups home-cooked or canned no-salt-added black beans (from two 15-ounce cans), drained and rinsed
Generous 1 cup chickpea flour
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons tamari
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
Use a fork to mash the beans in a large mixing bowl so they’re mushy but not totally smooth; there should still be some whole beans in the mixture.
Add the chickpea flour, tomato paste, applesauce, chili powder, tamari, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Heat a saucepan with 1/2 inch of the oil over medium heat, then place a generous 1/3 cup of the mixture in the center of the pan. Carefully press it into a round, pressing until the patty is about 3/4 inch thick. Repeat to form 3 or 4 burgers in the pan, working in batches to avoiding overcrowding. Cook until browned and crisp on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side, flipping them as needed so they cook evenly.
Transfer the cooked burgers to a plate, sprinkle lightly with more salt, if desired, and cover loosely to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful nutritional analysis.