Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bean or Not to Bean--Fava Bean Burgers

There's nothing like sitting on a comfy couch, flicking through food channels on TV. But on Saturday mornings I am hard-pressed to find a channel I like. And then lo and behold I see Jamie Oliver on CBS.  And he makes a bean burger that looks scrumptious. A bean burger? Well it's his take on a meatless aka veggie burger. He certainly makes it look easy and quite appetizing. It is meatless Tuesday in my house so I will inflict these burgers on the family... Meatless meals are tolerated with some equanimity. Let's see how this plays out.

The recipe calls for broad beans. Since I do not care for Lima beans I will use favas instead. Frozen ones. We are nowhere near fresh fava season. The frozen ones are not too bad. Quite easy to peel and retain that vivid green color. Once I start I change my mind.. fast..peeling favas takes a while. After that it's 1..2..3 in the processor. I make small dollops of beans into round patties, crisp them brown and the burgers like the emperor's new clothes are ready for their buns.

Makes 10 small burgers

1 1/2 cup cooked Red Beans
2 cups peeled Fava beans
1 cup Cilantro
1/2 teaspoon roasted Cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon Chile powder
1/2 teaspoon Coriander powder
1 Lemon, zested
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
Additional flour
2 tablespoons Canola oil

Place red beans, fava beans, spice powders, cilantro, lemon zest and juice, flour, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 10-15 times till beans are pulpy.

Empty the contents into a floured surface. 

Divide bean purée into 10 balls. 

Flatten each ball slightly and dust with flour.

Heat canola oil in a nonstick pan.

Fry patties 3 to 4 minutes on each side till golden brown. 

Serve fava patties as burgers or by themselves with a side salad.


I did not defrost the fava beans. I zapped them in the microwave for 20 seconds to make it easier to peel them. The outer skin is leathery and shouldn't be used.

You could easily substitute Lima beans or peas.

The boys look at the veggie dinner with their usual trepidation. Though I don't know why because they almost always enjoy their vegetarian repast. I serve the burgers/patties along with pasta and a beet and burrata salad. No bread encasing. Just plain and unadorned. It has a falafel-like taste and appearance. I like it's unusual mushy spicy taste. But it turns out to be not such a big hit, just an also-ran. Can't win them all.