If presentation is what matters, bean burgers are harder than they look. We were inspired by the Minimalist's recent foray into veggie burgers and the Cupboard Challenge from about a week ago to try these staples of vegetarian summer cookouts. We found them delicious - moist and flavorful - but falling apart in crumbs that look quite different than the Times' pretty food styling! But no matter - they were very good, and we'd like to experiment with the recipe again.
Freshly cooked Rancho Gordo beans, brown rice, sweet canned corn, basil and leftover sun-dried tomatoes all went into these, and all those good summer tastes come through. If you cook them for a brief time they stay soft inside, like refried beans, and like this they're very good with an egg on top for breakfast.
Tomato, Corn, and Basil Bean Burgers
about 12 small veggie burgers
2 cups well-cooked brown or pinto beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked sweet corn
3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg (optional)
Asiago cheese rolls, for serving
In a large bowl combine the beans, rice, and corn. Mince the garlic, tomatoes, and basil and add along with the cumin and salt and pepper. Mix in the egg. Puree until chunky in a food processor, adding water or oil if too dry, or more brown rice if too wet.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Cook the veggie burger until well done and crispy on both sides - about 6 minutes each side. These tend to be quite moist, so check the first one inside before you remove it from the pan.