Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Black Bean Burger with Salsa Fresca and Avocado Crema


No apologies: I love a great ground chuck burger. But this recipe for a meatless variation is really a fabulous find! The flavors in this ‘burger’ are fresh and lively and the texture will make you wonder if you really have crossed over beyond meat. As the original recipe from indicates, “Cumin, paprika, coriander, and both Poblano and chipotle chiles lend their robust flavor to this earthy black bean burger. Dredged in cornmeal, it’s a hearty base for a bright salsa fresca and smooth avocado crema.”

You’ll need a little time to bring this all together and you may also want to do as the recipe suggests by putting the patties n the refrigerator to let them firm up. I couldn’t wait and for that and they were still awesome.  Iprepared these and enjoyed them without the bun, simply laying down a hearty bit of avocado, then the patty, then the Salsa Fresca. Wow! I also took a couple Tablespoons of the juice from the Salsa Fresca and drizzled over the whole thing. the next time I prepare this I’ll probably skip the sour cream as well and just mash up the avocado with the lime juice and add a little cumin and some cayenne for some heat. Dang–this is terrific. This recipe makes 6 patties.


Ingredients ~

For the Black Bean Burgers

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed, drained, and mashed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup finely ground cornmeal (for dredging)

For the Salsa Fresca

  • 3 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

For the Avocado Crema

  • ½ cup sour cream (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled

6 hamburger buns

Method for the ‘Burgers’ ~

  1. Make the burgers: Heat 3 Tablespoons oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and Poblanos, and cook, stirring, until soft and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, coriander, oregano, and chipotle chiles, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add breadcrumbs, beans, and eggs, season with salt and pepper, and mix well to combine. Divide mixture into six 5½-oz. patties, about 3″ wide x 1″ thick; place on a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes or until ready to use.

Method for the Salsa Fresca ~

  1. Mix vinegar, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 20 minutes to allow flavors to marry.

Method for the Avocado Crema ~

  1. Combine sour cream, lime juice, avocado, and salt and pepper in a blender, and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Bringing it all together ~

  1. Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge 3 burgers in cornmeal, and cook, flipping once, until toasted on each side and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining oil, burgers, and cornmeal. Spread the bottom half of each bun with avocado crema, top with a burger and some salsa and serve.

Note: Burgers may be formed and frozen, sealed, for up to one month. Defrost as necessary, dredge in cornmeal as described in step 3, and cook.

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