Black Bean Veggie Burger w/ Pickled Beets

Although I consider Los Angeles home, I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for seven years.  During that time, I discovered Atlanta’s culinary gems. Atlanta’s restaurant scene is vibrant, growing, and edgy.  I basked in its rich Southern cuisine from Busy Bee CaféMary Mac’s, my favorite vegetarian restaurant Cafe Sunflower, and my favorite spots to get a burger, Flip Burger Boutique and Marlow’s Tavern.  This recipe is inspired by my go-to meal at Marlow’s Tavern-- their House-Made Black Bean Veggie Burger.  When I first ordered the burger years ago, it came topped with pickled beets (as I write this post, they’re using pickled carrots), and I was a bit apprehensive about the combination of beets and a black bean burger.  I love beets, but at the time, my ever-changing palate wouldn’t yield to the combination.  But ultimately, I was encouraged; egged on even.  Of course, the meal was ordered and it did not disappoint; and, as they say, the rest is history.  Since that time, I’ve created various types of veggie burgers (chickpea, sweet potato, and so on) and added creative toppings, some of which I can’t wait to share on this blog. 

This Black Bean Veggie Burger is simple to make and quite flavorful.  I started with two cans of black beans that I drained.  This is an important step.  In the past, I found that my veggie burger patties were runny and didn’t hold shape when frying. Even if I drained the beans, I found myself taking them for a spin in my food processor.  The result was more of a dip than a burger.  So, I grabbed some carrots, ate the black bean dip, and stood there thinking, “I’ve got to get a burger out of this next time.”  So, drain the beans and place the beans in a bowl.  Now, start mashing with a fork or a potato masher.  It's okay to let some of the beans stay whole.  I like a textured veggie burger.  Now, add your spices and a binder.  I used smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, panko crumbs (bread crumbs are fine also), salt and pepper.

At this point, I wouldn’t mash the black bean mixture.  You can either use your hands or a spoon to incorporate the spices and bread crumbs.  The mixture should be thick and firm. If not, add more bread crumbs.

Shape the mixture into 4 nice, thick patties and pan-fry on medium high heat.  Once all of the patties are cooked, start assembling your burger. 

The Pickled Beet Situation

I adapted a recipe from Sarah at Snixy Kitchen.  I was looking for a quick recipe for pickling beets and this recipe satisfied tremendously. I added coriander seeds and maple syrup instead of sugar.  I also increased the liquid to fit the breadth of my jar. You can find the recipe here.


Inspired by Marlow's Tavern House-Made Black Bean Veggie Burger

black bean burgers
2-15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons olive oil, coconut oil for frying the patties

½ cup of pickled beets
hamburger buns

pickled beets (adapted from Snixy Kitchen)
1 medium beet, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Put the beans in a bowl and mash the beans with a fork or a potato masher. Next, add the next 5 ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper. Form 4 patties.  They should be thick patties about the size of your hamburger bun.  Cook patties for about 4 minutes on each side or until a nice crust develops on top of them.  Once patties are cooked through, set aside on a plate and begin assembly of your burger.

For the pickled beets, shred beets in a food processor fitted with your shredding disc.  If you don’t have a food processor, a hand-held shredder will work just fine.  Place the shredded beets in a jar.  Add the boiling water, salt, maple syrup, coriander seeds and vinegar.  Seal the jar and place in the fridge to pickle for about 30 minutes.  The pickled beets can be stored in your fridge for up to a month.