It has been decided, in my mind, that burgers should have an extended season. I admit there is little better than a burger with the faint taste of a charcoal grill, slathered with mayonnaise and cheese, pickles and onions. Said burger is enjoyed while your feet are dipped in a child’s pool to cool from the hot summer sun, but I want a burger extension.
I want to eat them while the wind unravels the leaves in jewel tones, off their tender branches. I’d love to eat a burger sitting next to a flickering fireplace while watching the snow gracefully fall outside. I would even eat one when the first tip of asparagus pops through the nearly frozen earth.
The principle remains the same – bread, patty and a few carefully selected accessories to pull it all together. But the recipes are a sign of the season.
This time of year our burger is a far cry from our frequent Summer variety. In place of the meat we blend a mixture of white beans with sweet and acidic sun-dried tomatoes as well as fresh rosemary whose sturdy branches are holding firm against the new set-in chill. A soft bun or hearty bread create the foundation. To that we add stone ground mustard, arugula and pickles. I’m sure a bit of cheese, perhaps feta or creamy goat, would be a welcomed addition. Either way it is a burger that Summer would be proud of.
White Bean Burgers with Rosemary and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
makes 4, large or 6-8 small burgers
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbl fresh rosemary, chopped
¾ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
pinch chili flake
Pre-heat your oven to 375*F
In a large bowl or a food processor add the beans. Mash them up a bit while still maintaining some bits of bean. Add to this the remaining ingredients except for the eggs. Taste for seasoning then add the eggs. Let this sit for 15 minutes or so. During this time the bread crumbs will soak up a bit of the moisture. The mixture will be wet but still able to form a patty, similar to ground meat actually. If the mixture feels dry at all add a bit of olive oil to moisten. If too wet add a bit more panko.
Line a sheet pan with parchment and a bit of oil or pan spray. Form four patties and place in a 375*F pre-heated oven. Bake 10-15 minutes on each side. Serve on crusty bread or a hamburger bun with spicy mustard, pickles, and greens (I like arugula).