It was one of those days.
One of those days where the to-do list is forty-two miles long.
One where you desperately wish you were either a: superwoman, b: capable of creating forty-two extra hours in the day or c: affluent enough to have forty-two assistants to assist you in cutting your forty-two mile to-do list down to at least twenty-four miles... you have to start somewhere, yes?
On the list: grocery store. Dinner. (amongst a mass of other 'more important' items) Did the grocery store happen? No. Luckily I am good at stocking the pantry with staples such as the beloved garbanzo bean. Do you know how many different (fantastic) meals you can prepare with garbanzo beans?*
If I were stranded on a desert island and I could only take three things with me, one of them would be an unlimited supply of garbanzo beans. Or at least the guaranteed ability to grow them on my own. The other two things? I'll get back to you.
And so these burgers were born. And they were the perfect combination of healthy, filling, heart warming and fun to eat. Comfort food.
As for the to-do list? It's a little shorter. What is it though, about to-do lists that inevitably, once you mark one thing off you add nine more? At least it's not forty-two.
*The answer? Forty-two.
Yield: about 8 burgers, depending on how much you use to form each. It's versatile like that.
1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 shallot, diced fine
4 cloves garlic, diced fine
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced fine
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
About 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 Tablespoons chili paste
1/4 cup agave nectar
About 1/2 cup panko breading, maybe a bit more
For the sauce:
1/4 cup Tofutti vegan sour cream
2 Tablespoons tapatio (add more or less for desired spicy factor)
Fresh thin sliced sweet white onions
Fresh sliced vine ripened tomatoes
Fresh sliced cucumber
Let your imagination go...
Combine butter beans and garbanzo beans in a cuisinart and pulse. Set aside (in the cuisinart) for now.
Meanwhile, in a pan, heat a little extra virgin olive oil on med/high and add shallot and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 minutes then add bell pepper. Cook another 2-3 minutes then add cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Let cook for about 3 more minutes then turn heat off and add mixture to beans in the cuisinart.
Cover cuisinart and pulse again, to combine. Note: the cuisinart will break the beans down for you, so you don't have to use a potato masher. You do not want to blend it so much that it turns into mush though, keep a little texture.
Transfer mixture to large bowl and add fresh cilantro, chili paste, agave nectar and panko breading. Using a spatula, fold everything together until it is well mixed.
At this point, taste your mix. If you feel it needs more salt and/or pepper, add it.
Note: the chili paste and agave nectar act as a binder. You may need to add more. To test, form one patty by scooping the mix and gently pressing into a patty. If it readily falls apart, add a bit more of both the chili paste and agave. You shouldn't have to do this much based on the measurements above. I just wanted to throw it out there :)
Form your patties and simultaneously prepare your pan for cooking. A flat nonstick pan works best; or a nonstick griddle. Heat to med/high, closer to medium (you don't want to burn them).
As your patties are ready you can get them cooking. Let them go on one side until it is crispy and golden brown, about 5-8 minutes depending on the heat of your pan.
Flip and do the same on the other side.
Prepare your 'special sauce' while your burgers cook. Simply combine vegan sour cream and tapatio.
Toast your buns... for this round we used multi-grain sandwich slims. It's the, you know, pantry thing. Use whatever you like for buns. These were great though.
Apply sauce to bottom bun.
When burgers are done, top bottom bun with burger. Add garnish, aka onion, tomato, cucumber and arugula.
Add more sauce to top bun, or not... whatever you want. I'm not a big 'sauce' gal so I didn't.
Serve with a lovely green salad and fantastic glass of red wine. Or whatever else you choose to drink. Fizzy water is another great beverage and a staple in our house.
These burgers are simple, most likely made with what you have on hand, quite filling and fun like a burger... because it is a burger!