Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole


These bean burgers will even please carnivores. The cornmeal coating gives a pleasant crunch and smoked paprika, cumin, cilantro and guacamole add Southwestern flavor.


Ingredients


  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup quinoa, rinsed (see Note)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2½ cups cooked pinto beans, well drained (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground toasted cumin seeds (see Tip)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal, plus ⅓ cup for coating burgers
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
  • 6 lettuce leaves
  • 6 tomato slices
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Preparation

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  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Uncover and let stand.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add ½ cup onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add beans, paprika and ground cumin and mash the beans to a smooth paste with a potato masher or fork. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the quinoa, 3 tablespoons cilantro, 3 tablespoons cornmeal, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper; stir to combine.
  3. Form the bean mash into 6 patties. Coat them evenly with the remaining ⅓ cup cornmeal and transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. To prepare guacamole: Mash avocado with a potato masher or fork. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons onion, garlic, cayenne and ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron (or similar heavy) skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook 3 burgers until heated through and brown and crisp on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven to keep warm. Cook the remaining 3 burgers with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning. Serve the burgers on buns with lettuce, tomato and the guacamole.
  • Tip: Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Let cool. Grind into a powder in a spice mill or blender.
  • Ingredient Note: Quinoa is a delicately flavored, protein-rich grain. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering. Find it in natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets.
  • Tip: How to Cook a Pot of Beans
  • 1. Pick over 1 pound dry beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours. 2. When you're ready to cook the beans, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped celery stalk (optional). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup hot water. When the beans are nearly soft, stir in 1 to 1½ teaspoons salt. (Do not drain: beans are best stored in their cooking liquid and the li
  • Makes about 6 cups.
  • Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

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