Southwestern Black Bean Burgers

Serves 4


In this recipe, modestly wedged into a section of Good Housekeeping magazine favorites, looked simple-downright plain, even. But there was just something about it...

It turned out the something was mayonnaise, a wonderful binding ingredient that adds a little richness as well as pulls the beans together into moist burgers. Another surprise is that the black burgers topped with vivid red salsa are visually appealing-we like them nude as much as we do tucked into pita buns.


One 15-to-19 ounce can black beans,
   rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce,
   or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup loosely packed sliced lettuce
4 mini (4-inch) whole wheat pita breads, warmed
1/2 cup salsa, mild or hot (your choice)


In a large bowl, using a potato masher or a fork, mash the beans with the mayonnaise until almost smooth; leave some lumps for texture. Stir in the cilantro, bread crumbs, hot pepper sauce, cumin and salt and pepper, mixing well.

With lightly floured hands, shape the bean mixture into four 3-inch burgers. Lightly spray both sides of each one with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat a wide skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the burgers and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook for 3 minutes longer, or until heated through.

Divide the lettuce among the pitas, then fill each with a burger and top with some salsa.


Serve with:
A Different Greek Salad*

To drink:
Start with Frozen Margaritas*, then beer or a light-bodied red wine.

* These recipes are found in book.

Buy the Book!


The Best American Recipes 1999
The Year's Top Picks from Books,
Magazines, Newspapers and the Internet

Series Editors: Fran McCullough and Suzanne Hamlin
Houghton Mifflin Company, October 1999
Hardcover, $26.00, 228 pages
8 full-color photographs
ISBN: 0-395-96647-7
Recipe Reprinted by permission.


The Best American Recipes 1999



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