Smoky Hazelnut and Black Bean Burgers

by Toni Fiore, the author of the Totally Vegetarian cookbook

Black Bean BurgersServes 4-6                     40 minutes

3 to 4 slices whole grain bread lightly toasted and coarsely processed (use oats for GF)
1 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped and toasted
12 ounces crimini or baby bella mushrooms, coarsely chopped
4 to 6 tablespoons refined coconut or olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
15 ounce can of low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce or 1 tablespoon of chipotle sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 to 3 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons salt

Toast the bread and using a processor, chop into coarse bits. Place into a large bowl. Pulse hazelnuts in the food processor until coarsely chopped but not ground into a paste.

Heat a skillet on medium. Add the chopped nuts to the heated pan and carefully toast them, stirring or shaking frequently until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Drop the nuts into the large bowl of crumbs and set aside.

Re-heat the skillet on medium and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. As soon as the oil is warmed add the onions and sauté for five minutes or until the onions are soft and glassy. Add the mushrooms and continue sautéing until the mushrooms brown, about 5-7 minutes. Quickly pulse the cooked mushrooms and onions in the processor. Then add the drained beans, cilantro and all seasonings. Quickly pulse making sure to retain some texture.

Combine the vegetable-bean mixture with the nuts and breadcrumbs. Add water and, using your hands, mix until you’re able to form the mixture into 4 patties. Be careful not to make them too thin – you want a hearty thick pattie.

Re-heat your pan on medium, add 2 tablespoons of your remaining oil. Place burgers into the hot oiled pan and cook until golden brown – for best results these burgers should be cooked slowly, so don’t hesitate to lower the heat if needed. Prepare buns with your favorite burger toppings, or serve on a bed of lettuce. Enjoy!

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