The only veggie burger that completely sends me into orbit is on the menu at Houston’s. But my habit was getting expensive, so I came up with a recipe I could make at home. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. Once you have measured everything out, this wholesome burger, with brown rice, black beans and beets, assembles and cooks quickly. I keep cooked brown rice in the freezer so it is always available. This burger deserves an extra-large, whole-grain or sprouted-wheat bun. It may end up converting even your most carnivorous friends!
Makes 6 burgers
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon oat bran or wheat germ
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped cooked beets (fresh or canned)
1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper, seeded
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for cooking
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg white, beaten
6 slices Monterey jack or sharp Cheddar cheese
6 whole-grain or sprouted-wheat buns
Shredded lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, dill or sweet pickles, your favorite dressing, and Sweet Potato Fries (tune in next month)
1. In a small container, stir together the barbecue sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and molasses.
2. In a large bowl, mash the beans with a fork. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce mixture along with the rice, oat bran, onion, garlic, beets, pepper, oil, cumin and chile powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper before adding the egg white. Form into 6 patties, each about 1-inch thick. Brush the burgers with the remaining barbecue sauce mixture.
3. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a thin film of oil. Cook the patties until they are well charred on each side, about 4 minutes per side, being careful when flipping them as they fall apart easily. Top them with cheese and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the burgers to serving plates.
4. Brown the buns briefly in the skillet. Place them on the serving plates with the burgers and arrange the desired garnishes on the side.
Quench your thirst with healthy Pomegranate-Mint Mojitos.