Between last weekend in New Orleans [wonderful food (soft shell crabs, shrimp and grits, a beignet, a strawberry shortcake that tasted like childhood); a good amount of sparkling wine; a piping hot cup of chicory coffee; strolls through the French Quarter; and (it being a bachelorette party and all) dueling pianos and karaoke] and this weekend, which will be spent in Boston [my sister-in-law's graduation, which provides a lovely excuse for the whole family to converge in the northeast], May has shifted into overdrive and I’m just (barely) hanging on for the ride—and loving every minute of it.
Until recently, I had only two burgers firmly in my repertoire: a chipotle pepper-flecked turkey burger and a classic grassfed patty, seasoned simply with salt and pepper. When I was home for Easter, we staged a barbecue, deciding that there would be burgers, baked beans and sweet potato fries. As we set the plan in motion, my sister threw a wrench into the plan. “How about a veggie burger? Or, like, a black bean burger?”
Just to be sure, we gave it a final audition this week, when my sister was visisting Chicago, and it got the final seal of approval. So, as we head out to Boston and continue our whirlwind-blown May, I’ll rest assured that at the end of it all, there will be a restful three-day Memorial Day weekend—and burgers. Three kinds of them.
Adapted from Gourmet
Yield: 4 burgers
2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
generous pinch of salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 soft hamburger buns
Accompaniments: sliced avocado, romaine, salsa, sliced sharp cheddar
Pulse 1 can beans in a food processor with yogurt, bread crumbs, cumin, oregano, cayenne, paprika and salt until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cilantro and remaining can beans. Add as much juice from the lime as needed to create a mixture that holds together well (you likely won’t need the entire lime; slice the leftover lime into wedges and serve with the burgers). Form mixture into 4 patties.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers (alternatively, heat a grill pan and brush it with the oil). Cook burgers until outsides are crisp and lightly browned, turning once, about 5 minutes total. Serve on buns, along with the accompaniments.