Hee hee! I think he is going to start daily inspections of the refrigerator to see if I have anything else hiding in there that is on his "I don't like it" list. Too bad everything on his list he actually does enjoy, as long as he doesn't know it has been used! For these veggie burgers, once I got an onion softened, I secretly tossed in a half pound of finely chopped baby portobello mushrooms in, along with fresh garlic, cumin and smoked paprika. You'll want to let this cook until the mushrooms have exuded their juices and taken on a bit of color - as long as the heat is above medium, this shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
If we would have left this mixture as is, he might have been able to spot that fungi if he picked at the patty, so into the food processor it went, along with black beans a few leaves of fresh cilantro. Don't turn on the processor and walk away - you want this on the coarser side and not pureed smooth, so just a few pulses to break down the beans and mushrooms is good. This concoction is fairly wet as is, so to help bind the ingredients together to form a solid patty, we stirred the chunky mixture with a few slices of whole wheat bread that we first toasted and then processed into breadcrumbs. And, I should note as I did in the directions, do this before you process the bean mixture so you won't have to clean out the bowl!
To give the patties a mild creamy tang, we also added a couple ounces of soft goat cheese into the bowl to swirl through. The patties were ready to be shaped now, but you have options on the size - we made pretty giant burgers and portioned it off into four bulky pieces. You could easily go up to six though and still get reasonably sized burgers. If you find it a little tacky to work with, use lightly dampened hands and that will help keep it off your fingers. These patties were tidy, held together well and not really that messy, which made them excellent candidates to throw on the grill to cook!
To help crisp up the outsides of these healthy patties, we brushed each with a little olive oil before they hit the grates. You don't need to cook them to death either - heat them long enough to warm through their centers and attain a few marks. Use a burger bun if you wish, but we went the toasted English muffin route since I didn't have a chance to get our favorite homemade buns made. Definitely "bean-y" in taste, what I particularly enjoyed was the smoky factor coming from the cumin and smoked paprika - subtle, yet apparently enough to take notice. While the mushrooms (yeah... you ate 'em and you know you liked it!) added to the moisture inside, their earthiness is what anchored the burgers and corralled all the other flavors together into a neat little (or in this case, big!) package. For a jazzy condiment on top, we added a couple spoonfuls of zesty salsa verde, but I'm sure any salsa you like would add to this enticing veggie dish!
Black-Bean Mushroom Burgers