Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

Turmeric in a burger? Yes, please.

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August 09, 2020

Prep: 1h 30min

Cook: 30min

Serves: 6-8

The gist.

These burgers are composed of some powerful ingredients that pull together remarkably. One of the powerful ingredients, turmeric, has a wild earthy flavor that is noticeable in the final product. But! Turmeric stains, so clean it up immediately if it spills.

Today’s color theme is inspired by the 2011 Nike Air Max 90 sneakers. Not really, but the first several results that pulled up after typing in “orange black yellow” were related to these shoes. Now the question is, do I change the name of this recipe to the “Air Max 90 Burger?” Tempting. Definitely tempting.

I make vegetable-based burgers quite regularly, always changing the ingredient combinations in search of winner flavors. The set of ingredients you see in this recipe consistently make it back to my menu. The flavors are rich, the colors are bold, and the smell of the patties cooking is like no other.

Vegetable-based burgers tend to not hold together as well as their meat counterparts, so let me offer a few experience-based pieces of advice that you can choose to incorporate or not.

Turmeric is terrifying! Don’t let its sublime earthy aroma fool you. Turmeric will stain that countertop of yours. A few years ago I was staying in an Airbnb with some family members. I was in charge of cooking that night and was looking at the spices in the kitchen cabinet for some culinary inspiration. The jar of turmeric caught my eye and kickstarted the evening meal. I can’t remember what I cooked, but I do remember that at some point I spilled a decent amount of the turmeric powder onto the counter and into the sink. Being unaware that turmeric is a tattoo artist, I didn’t wipe it up immediately. Oops. Later, after scrubbing, scrubbing, and scrubbing, the yellow splotches remained. Eventually we called a family member, an organic chemistry professor, and asked for help. He told us what household ingredients to use to lift the stain, and it worked! If I remember correctly, it involved us rubbing vegetable oil into the stain, and then lifting it completely with dish soap. I think. Don’t trust me on this one. Morale of the story: don’t spill the turmeric while making these burgers. And call an organic chemist if you do.

You’ll notice in step seven I indicate you should refrigerate the raw patties for 30 minutes. If you have the time, do it longer! The burgers will hold their shape better and will crumble less once they are in the skillet if you have put in the chilling time.

Back to you cooking these refrigerated patties. Be sure to preheat your skillet. To get a nice seared crust, the patties need to come into contact with hot oil in a hot pan. I say medium-high in the instructions, but another option is to start the burgers at high heat and drop to medium-high after about a minute. The upside to the consistency of these burgers is that you can reshape them while cooking to get a nice round patty. The downside is that you need to be quite a bit more gentle when handling them, especially compared to a meat burger.

When the burgers are done and it’s time to eat, serve as you wish. I usually go the classic route with mayonnaise and ketchup on toasted buns, topped with lettuce and tomato. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Steps

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

  • Prep time: 1h 30min
  • Cook time: 30min
  • Serving size: 6-8
These burgers are composed of some powerful ingredients that pull together remarkably. One of the powerful ingredients, turmeric, has a wild earthy flavor that is noticeable in the final product. But! Turmeric stains, so clean it up immediately if it spills.

INGREDIENTS

  • 400 g (2 cups) sweet potatoes, 2.5 cm (1 in) cubes
  • 1 large carrot, 2 cm (1/2 in) slices
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 65 g (1/2 cup) green olives, sliced
  • 240 g (1.5 cups) cooked black beans
  • 180 g (1 cup) cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 60 g (1/2 cup) bread crumbs

STEPS

  1. Put sweet potatoes, carrots, and 2 tsp salt in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and set to the side.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp oil.

  3. Add onion, ginger, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. Add garlic and spices (cumin, curry, turmeric) and stir constantly for 30 seconds.

  5. Add potato/carrot mixture, olives, and beans and cook 4-5 minutes. Stir frequently.

  6. Remove skillet from heat and transfer contents to a large bowl. Add quinoa, basil, bread crumbs, 1/4 tsp salt, and a generous amount of black pepper. Mash together with a fork, potato masher, or your hands until you obtain a cohesive mixture.

  7. Form patties using 80 g (1/3 cup) mixture per patty. Allow patties to chill for at least 30 minutes.

  8. When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil. Fill the bottom of the skillet with patties, but avoid overcrowding. Cook patties 3-5 minutes, flip, and cook the other side 2-4 minutes.

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