When you put a bean or lentil patty on a bun, you run the risk of building a burger that is too dry and bready. The ratio is all out of whack, with not enough ooey-gooeyness to balance the bread and mashed beans. It wasn’t until I sat down to write this recipe that I had the revelation I needed: Turn the patty into the bun and stuff that with all sorts of good stuff. Problem solved. These make great do-ahead meals, and you can store shaped, ready-to-cook patties in the refrigerator for a week’s worth of work lunches.
What to buy: Sprouted garbanzos are becoming more readily available, but if you can’t find them, canned or cooked garbanzos will work just fine.
Game plan: Stuff the patties with your favorite burger toppings or try some of these filling ideas: More sprouts, avocado slices, cipollini onions (sweet and just the right size), sliced Roma tomatoes, a sprinkling of smoked paprika, caramelized onions, our homemade Guacamole recipe, or our pickle recipe.
- Yield: 12 mini burgers
- 2 1/2 cups sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 onion, chopped
- Grated zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 cup micro sprouts (try broccoli, onion, or alfalfa sprouts), chopped
- 1 cup toasted whole-grain bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter
- If you are using sprouted garbanzos, steam them until tender, about 10 minutes. If you are using canned beans, jump right in. Combine the garbanzos, eggs, and salt in a food processor and puree until the mixture is the consistency of very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into twelve 1 1/2-inch-thick patties. I err on the moist side here, because it makes for a nicely textured burger. You can always add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter.
- Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Carefully cut each patty in half, insert your favorite fillings, and enjoy immediately.
Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways to Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking by Heidi Swanson. Copyright 2007. Published by Celestial Arts.