An Even Better Burger – This Time With White Beans!

whitebeanburger.jpgI thought about writing an April Fool’s Day post, wherein I pretended I’d gone back to eating meat. But I realized that a) Beth already did a great job covering our practical joke bases, and b) I’m a terrible liar.

So I decided to stick with something I’m much better at: creating new recipes. After my black bean burger recipe got such great reviews from testers, I was inspired to make a new version of the recipe. Jeff had asked if one could substitute pine nuts for pumpkin seeds (sure!) and I started concocting from there.

This week I decided to make an Italian version: White Bean Burgers! The directions for this version are nearly identical — all that’s changed is the ingredients.

Wet Ingredients:
1 Can white (canellini) beans (16 oz. or soak your own)
1 Cup chopped, fresh spinach
1 and 1/2 Tsp cornstarch, mixed with equal part water

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 Cup pine nuts
1/2 Cup bread crumbs
2 Cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 Tsp Thyme
A pinch each of salt, black pepper, and powdered sage

You’ll want to steam your spinach a bit before adding it to the beans and cornstarch mixture. Other than that, simply follow the directions here. Another tip I found useful: because the spinach adds a lot of moisture, I was afraid the patties might fall apart. So I let them sit uncovered in the fridge for about half an hour before I cooked them, and it seemed to help.

Once they were nice and brown, I put mine on a ciabatta roll, which was the perfect chewy complement. I almost always have a jar of tomato sauce on hand. (Apologies to my Italian ancestors — sometimes you need pasta and don’t have two hours to make it from scratch.) Top with a nice spoonful or two of sauce, and some chopped fresh basil.

The Tuscan take on the Southwestern burger made me wonder what other variations you could try. A Greek chickpea burger topped with tahini, served in a pita? A black eyed pea burger topped with mushroom gravy, on a biscuit for some Southern flair? You could probably tweak it in all sorts of ways. I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

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About the Author

Sharon began working as Green Options’ Office Manager, and has gone on to wear many hats, working also as Intern Coordinator, Editor, and Social Media Coordinator. In the GO office, she is perhaps best known as the founder and chef for the weekly “Soup Day.”

Prior to working with Green Options, Sharon earned a BA in Humanities from New College of California, and worked in the nonprofit arts and education sector.

A vegetarian for seven years, and vegan for nearly three, Sharon has a bit of an obsession for plant-based food. When she’s not hanging out in the bulk aisle of her local food co-op, Sharon is at home, trying to grow hydroponic basil, playing with her white fluffy cat, or annoying her neighbors by singing showtunes.