Spicy Autumn Vegetable Burger
MAKES: 4 to 6 servings
TIME: 30 minutes with cooked beans and kale
Here’s a burger flecked with bits of green and orange vegetables, with both creamy and chewy textures. It’s also a handy way to use leftover greens like kale, chard, cabbage, or spinach. If you don’t have any handy, just cook and shock them according to the directions on Shocking Vegetables. It will add only a few minutes to the recipe.
Serve these on a crusty roll with barbecue sauce (to make your own, see Fast, Down-Home Barbecue Sauce) or put them on a plate naked, next to a big spoonful of Millet Mash with Caramelized Onion Chutney on the side.
Vegan if you use the oil.
2 cups cooked kale or other winter green, like collards, turnip or mustard greens, or broccoli raab (about 8 ounces raw)
2 cups cooked or canned cannellini or other beans, drained well
4 or 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
1 medium sweet potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Fresh Bread Crumbs or panko
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch cayenne, or to taste
A little all-purpose flour, if needed, for binding
Squeeze all the water out of the kale and finely chop it. Put the cannellini beans in a large bowl and mash them roughly. Stir in the greens with a fork.
Put 2 tablespoons of the oil or butter in a deep skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot or the butter is melted, add the sweet potato and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften and color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs and remaining spices and cook and stir for another minute or so.
Stir the sweet potato mixture into the bean mixture with a fork, mixing until well blended. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes if you can before shaping it into patties. If it seems too wet, stir in a little flour to help bind it. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (You can make the burger mixture up to several hours in advance. Just cover tightly and refrigerate, then bring everything back to room temperature before cooking.) Wipe out the skillet.
Shape the mixture into 4 to 6 patties. Put 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter or oil in the skillet and turn the heat to medium. When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, carefully slide the burgers into the pan. Cook until nicely browned on one side, about 5 minutes; turn carefully and cook on the other side until firm and browned, adding the remaining butter or oil if necessary.
Serve on plates with any of the accompaniments listed in Serving Burgers or on buns with the usual burger fixings. Or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use.