Just after New Year's Day, I was looking for something to do with my leftover black-eyed peas. I got some great suggestions, including this recipe for black-eyed pea jambalaya. But I was really looking for something that was not soupy or too close to how we'd already eaten them when The Chubby Vegetarian posted about The Black Eye Burger. Of course! Not only would I be able to use up my peas, but would finally make my own veggie burgers.
It's embarrassing to admit that I've never made my own veggie burger, particularly now that I know how easy they are. And this burger tastes great, too. Because we usually dress up our peas at the table, I don't add much other than salt and a little Liquid Smoke to my peas while cooking. So I built upon the basic recipe to come up with this very tasty version using a vegetarian onion soup mix (check ingredients for beef or chicken flavor and/or make your own onion soup mix). Even better, this recipe can be used with just about any bean, particularly kidney beans and black beans. Never again will there be complaints about leftover beans!
Easy Veggie Burgers
yield: 4 burger patties
1 1/2 cups drained black-eyed peas (or other bean)
1 1/2 cups quick oats (the 1-minute oats, not regular rolled oats or steel-cut oats)
1/2 package (2 tablespoons) onion soup mix
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon canola oil (for frying)
In a large bowl, mash the peas/beans using a potato masher or large fork until all are mashed. Add the oats and soup mix and combine into peas/beans (using the fork or your hands). Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Gather the mixture into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes in order for the moisture to evenly distribute throughout.
Divide the mixture into 4 uniformly-sized balls. Dampen hands and press each ball into a patty. Smooth the edges of the patty to ensure that it stays together while frying. In a large pan over medium heat cook the veggie burger patties in the canola oil for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown.
Store any uncooked patties in plastic wrap in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.
1. If you have really al dente or canned beans, set aside some of the potlikker or liquid to mix into the patties in case there is not enough moisture in them to soften the oats. Larger beans may have more moisture, so if the mix is too mushy, just add more oats.
2. If you only have standard rolled oats, put them in the blender or food processor to make them into smaller flakes. Dry Irish or steel-cut oats cannot be used with this recipe.
3. You can use any mix-in that you typically like to use with beef burgers, such as ranch dressing mix, sriracha, soy sauce, etc. Anything you like to use to give the burgers a little more oompf!
4. EDITED TO ADD: I made a burger with canned pinto beans and the taste was great! One can instead of 1 1/2 cups of peas/beans; the rest of the recipe was the same.