The perfect burger from the tins at the back of the press
Healthy eating: Turn those tins of beans into a delicious, simple to make burger
Lilly Higgins’s black bean burger.
Who says a burger can’t be healthy? Especially if it is a vegetarian one, made with beans and sweetcorn. Thankfully, when supplies may be low, there are lots of ways to adapt this recipe too, and and with a little tweak you can even make it vegan-friendly.
If you don’t have the black beans the recipe calls for, you can substitute kidney or cannellini beans, either from a tin, or dried beans soaked overnight and cooked until tender (without salt in the water as this can make them tough).
Has anyone else had difficulty sourcing fresh coriander recently? Fear not, Lilly Higgins, the creator of this recipe, has some alternative suggestions: “The fresh coriander works really well with the black beans but parsley, oregano or frozen basil leaves can replace it. You can also use a little freshly snipped rosemary or thyme, lemon zest and black pepper with the cannellini beans, if you have it.”
Higgins also has a hack to rely on if you don’t have an egg, or if you want to make the burgers vegan. “Use a tablespoon of ground linseed or chia seeds as an egg replacer. Soak the ground seeds in two tablespoons of water and leave to swell for 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe as normal.”
THE PERFECT BEAN BURGER
460g cooked black beans (2 x 400g tins, drained)
2 cloves garlic
1tsp smoked paprika
¼tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp smoked or regular sea salt
20g fresh coriander (stalks and leaves finely chopped)
1 egg (whisked)
180g cream crackers (crushed)
1 Place the garlic in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
2 Add the beans, sweetcorn, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and coriander.
3 Pulse until the mixture has been combined and some of the corn and beans pureed. You need to avoid the entire mixture becoming a wet mush so blitz only a little.
4 Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the egg and cracker crumbs. The mixture should combine nicely into a workable “dough”. This whole process can easily be done in a bowl with a potato masher or fork.
5 Using wet hands shape into six equal sized patties. Place on a plate and cover with cling film. Leave to rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
6 Heat a heavy based frying pan over a medium heat. Add a little olive oil and fry the burgers for about four minutes on each side until golden.
7 Serve in warmed bread rolls with sweet potato wedges, salad, sour cream and guacamole.