Starting with black beans (dried on paper towels to eliminate moisture) gave us a substantial base. To avoid a crumbly burger we minimized starchy binders, finding help in ground tortilla chips, which worked as a binder (along with eggs and a tiny bit of flour) and added toasty corn flavor.
Pulsing our beans only coarsely prevented the burgers from becoming gummy. To ensure they held together, we refrigerated the mixture for at least an hour, allowing the starches to absorb additional moisture. (Prepare the patties a day ahead for a faster meal.)
To build a Southwestern flavor, we added scallions, cilantro, garlic, cumin, and coriander, plus hot sauce for zip. When forming the patties it is important to pack them firmly together. Serve with Chipotle Mayonnaise (recipe follows) and your favorite toppings.
BLACK BEAN BURGERS
Start to finish: 40 minutes (plus 1 to 24 hours chilling)
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
1 ounce tortilla chips, crushed coarse (1/2 cup) 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed 2 large eggs 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon hot sauce 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 hamburger buns
Line rimmed baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels and spread black beans over towels. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Process tortilla chips in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add scallions, cilantro, and garlic and pulse until finely chopped, about 15 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add beans and pulse until beans are roughly broken down, about 5 pulses.
Whisk eggs, flour, cumin, hot sauce, coriander, salt, and pepper together in large bowl until well combined. Add bean mixture and mix until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 F. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Divide bean mixture into 6 equal portions. Firmly pack each portion into tight ball, then flatten to 3 1/2-inch-wide burgers.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully place 3 burgers in skillet and cook until bottoms are well browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip burgers, add 1 tablespoon oil, and cook second side until well browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer burgers to prepared rack and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining 3 patties and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer burgers to buns and serve.
Makes about 1/2 cup
You can vary the spiciness of this sauce by adjusting the amount of chipotle.
Whisk 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons sour cream, 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1/8 teaspoon salt together in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
Nutrition information per serving: 385 calories; 115 calories from fat; 13 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 72 mg cholesterol; 751 mg sodium; 51 g carbohydrate; 11 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 15 g protein.