Monday, September 3, 2012

Cranberry Beans in my Burger

I purchased cranberry beans at the local farmer's market just based on their appearance; these pretty little gem like beans immediately caught my attention. Never having cooked with fresh shelling beans, I asked the farmer for some cooking tips. He told me to cook them just like regular dried beans, except they required no soaking. And so, I took my pretty beans home, along multiple bags of other locally grown produce, and decided to turn them into burgers to share at our Labor Day cook-out.

Cranberry Bean Veggie Burgers

For the Cranberry Beans3/4 lb. fresh cranberry bean pods
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken broth or water
a few sprigs fresh herbs such as thyme or sage
For the Burgers1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
½ zucchini, finely chopped
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
2 Tbsp. flour
1 egg, beaten (add another Tbsp. chia seed to omit egg)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
about 2 Tbsp. oil for frying

Rosy pink hues speckled along the little pods

Little gems exposed in their pods

And now these fresh shelling beans, out of their pods, they are ready for cookin'
Heat oil over medium. Saute garlic for a few minutes and add beans; add broth and herbs. Simmer covered for about 45 minutes until tender, stirring every so often and adding small amounts of water as needed. You can do this a few days ahead of time.
Caramelize onions with oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, about 15 minutes. Place them in a food processor to finely chop them. Drain cooled cooked beans and puree until smooth. Pulse oatmeal in processor if desired and combine burger  ingredients in a large bowl. Season well with salt and pepper and mix well. This step can be made a day ahead.
Divide mixture into 8-10 patties, depending on how large you want them. Cook them for about 5 minutes on each side, in batches. Make sure they are nicely browned on one side before turning them. I like to use a non-stick skillet because you can get away with using less oil while still getting beautiful browning.
My vegetarian friends were quite happy at the cook out! and I have plenty left for this week's lunches!

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