Last week Sharon and her husband, Anthony, graduated from Yale Divinity School. We were very proud, and the only thing we know to do at times like this is to throw a good party. With all the graduation festivities and out-of-town family, Sharon and Anthony didn’t have time to organize the food, so Sharon did what every smart daughter would do—she called her mother!
Sharon and Anthony put in their order for all the classic warm weather sides—potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, and pasta salad—but they had one more request. Many of their friends were vegetarian, and store-bought veggie burgers aren’t cheap. Could I please make some of my bean burgers?
I made two dozen of them, and at the end of the night, there were very few left. I had my pick of hotdogs, sausages, and hamburgers, but I chose a black bean burger. Not because it was the right thing to do, it’s what I really wanted!
Black Bean Burgers With Red Onion, Guacamole, and Creamy Salsa
Makes 6 burgers
2 cans (15. 5-ounces each) black beans drained, 1 can left whole, 1 can fork-mashed
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup prepared salsa, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon each: ground cumin and coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil
2 avocadoes, mashed
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons lime juice
Salt and ground black pepper
6 slices red onion
Mix beans, breadcrumbs, eggs, salsa, cilantro, cumin, pepper, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Divide into 6 equal portions and flatten into 4-inch patties.
About 20 minutes before serving, heat all burners of a gas grill on high. Use a wire brush to clean grill rack, then use tongs to wipe an oil-soaked rag over it. Close lid and return to temperature. Alternatively, build a hot charcoal fire.
Lightly brush burger tops with oil. Place burgers, oiled side down on hot rack, cover and grill until spotty brown, about 3 minutes. Lightly brush tops with oil and turn. Cover and continue to grill until burgers are spotty brown on remaining side, about 3 minutes longer. Place buns on grill rack, turn off heat, and let burgers and buns continue to cook until cheese melts and buns are warm.
Meanwhile, mix 2 mashed ripe avocados with, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mix remaining 1/4 cup salsa with yogurt. Spread a portion of yogurt sauce over each bun bottom. Set burger on bun bottom, top with a portion of guacamole, red onion, and yogurt sauce. Cap with bun top, and serve immediately.