This vegetarian burger with a Jamaican twist will please even the most devoted meat-eater: it’s loaded with nourishment from black beans and rice, with a super dose of flavor from hot peppers, fresh ginger, and Caribbean spices.
A perfect match for Jamaican Sweet Potato Salad or Joe’s Zesty Corn Salad. And what a great way to use up leftover cooked rice! These burgers are Rasta heaven.
4 slices stale bread (or toasted sandwich bread)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, or 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1. Using a food processor, pulse bread to make crumbs, then place them in a large bowl.
2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat and add onions. Saute them, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg, and saute for 2 minutes more. Put this mixture in the food processor, then add black beans, rice, and chopped pepper. Pulse ingredients until they are chopped but not pureed, then transfer mixture to a bowl.
3. Add breadcrumbs to bowl, salt and pepper to taste, and stir thoroughly with a spoon. Add more bread crumbs if mixture is too wet.
4. In a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Form mixture into 4 patties and cook about 4 minutes per side until burgers have formed a dark brown crust.
5. Serve with your favorite rolls and lettuce, tomato, and ketchup, if desired.
Inspired by Vegetarian Planet, by Didi Emmons (Harvard Common Press, 1997).