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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