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Polenta & Bean Burgers

June 1, 2011

Someone turned up the heat in New York City!  Seriously, it seems like overnight it went from winter to summer.  Where was spring?  The monsoon month we just had, I guess.  I’m not complaining, but this may soon become a summer of raw eats for Sweet Inspire. Any excuse to keep the oven and burners off!

Before diving into the raw, I want to share this bean burger I made for my sister-in-law.  She visited a couple weekends ago and we thoroughly enjoyed her company!  She visited the city on her own for full day before meeting up with us, so by the time we all went out together, I sort of felt as though I had a tour guide, instead of being one.  We walked, gawked stumbled into Saturday flea markets, baked bread and tried to avoid rain.  I am thankful she took me to one of my new favorite shops– a store devoted to adorable new and vintage dish ware! The perfect place to update some Sweet Inspire plates!  We also had several side street adventures.  Check out some of the quirky scenes from the trip on her blog.

Oh yeah, the burgers.  These bean burgers with polenta are bursting with savory flavor and moisture. They hold they’re shape very well and are even more tasty the next day.  The beans provide protein and fiber, and the polenta adds a little crunchiness to the texture.  I listed several ways to cook these, so that you have options.  They are all delicious, but flavors will vary slightly. The photo features stove-top browning.  If you decide to pan-fry the burgers, be sure to add extra seasoning beforehand, as the process may overpower the seasoning with fry flavor.

I say, fire up the grill and enjoy!

Polenta and Bean Burgers
Makes 6 large burgers
Recipe adapted from Ultimate Vegetarian by Parragon Press

2/3 cup polenta
1/2 cup dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed
1/2 cup dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
6 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
1 teaspoon paprika
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup grated carrot
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast

1: Place polenta a small/medium bowl.  Fill with cool water about 1-inch above polenta. Set aside to soak.
2: Place beans in separate saucepans.  Cover each group of beans with cool water (a couple inches over) and add a pinch or two of salt.  Bring to a bowl, then lower temperature and simmer  until tender.  Chickpeas should take 40 minutes.  Black-eyed peas should be about 50 minutes.  Drain and rinse.
3: Place both beans in an upright blender and pulse until mashed, but texture should be coarse. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
4: In a large sauté pan, heat about 1 Tablespoon oil.  Sauté onion and garlic until onion is lightly browned. Add paprika and continue to heat about 1 minute.  Transfer to bowl of beans and mix well.
5: Drain polenta and stir into bean mixture.  Stir in carrot and nutritional yeast.  Form mixture into patties (about 4-5 inches).  Use wet hands to keep the mixture from sticking.
6: Brush outside of burgers with oil (unless pan-frying), then immediately grill, bake or brown over the stove. Serve warm on a whole wheat bun or croquette-style.
Here are the types of cooking methods you can use…
* Grill 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown or preferred color.
* Bake at 400°F about 8 minutes on each side.
* Brown by heating sauté pan on medium.  Cook burgers about 6-8 minutes on each side, until golden brown. (Featured in the photos)
* To pan-fry, do not brush burgers with olive oil, but fill a frying pan about halfway or slightly more with frying oil (with a high smoke point, like coconut oil.)  Heat oil, then fry each side of the burgers about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Place finished burgers on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb access oil. (OR if you don’t want to use paper towels, place a cooling rack over a baking pan.  Transfer finished burgers to cooking rack, so access oil can drip off.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 1, 2011 7:05 pm

    These were so good! I plan on making them this weekend for Jess. I do like the texture that the polenta adds. This is one of the few home-made veggie burgers I’ve had that isn’t too dry!

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