I think it’s pretty safe to say that spring is here and is staying. Which of course in NYC means it will be nice for a couple weeks and then turn ridiculously hot and muggy in no time. I’d like to be an optimist about this and say that everything’s going to be all 74 and gorgeous for the foreseeable future, but I can’t help but also be a realist. So with summer on the horizon I decided to whip up a new burger. After all, isn’t a good burger perfect for those summer afternoons or evenings?
R and I spend a fair amount of time outside the city here and there throughout the summer taking advantage of the beaches that are in the area. Fair skinned as I am, by “taking advantage of the beaches” I mean we get up ridiculously early and park our butts on the beach with coffee and breakfast before all the other people show up and the sun gets too intense. It’s incredibly peaceful and means that we’re usually off the beach and to his brother’s pool by lunchtime. And while we’re enjoying a cool off in the pool someone usually starts up the grill and we bust out our frozen cardboard-tasting veggie burgers we picked up from the store on the way over. I’ve been getting a little strange about buying pre-packaged foods as of late, and after creating my southwestern chickpea sweet potato quinoa burgers, I wanted another option that was quick and easy that we could bring with us and throw on the grill when the need strikes, without having to deal with any strange ingredients or preservatives. And after taking a stab at a black bean version, I’m even more convinced I can make up a couple batches of both, toss them in the freezer, and be good to go for the summer.
I opted to go with a simple black bean and quinoa as the base for this burger to keep it really quick and easy to encourage myself to make them again in the future. I’ve noticed sometimes the less ingredients I have to deal with, the more likely I am to whip up a recipe again. And I think this was the perfect mixture of simple and ease. In order to get some greens snuck in as well, I tossed in some spinach and cilantro to the mix.
I’ve been really surprised by how easy burgers are to make. It’s literally as simple and tossing all the ingredients into the food processor, or just mashing it all up with a potato masher if I’m feeling real lazy, and forming into burgers and baking for a bit. Tada! Simple. So simple.
Of course I couldn’t just go with plain old ketchup and mustard for the topping on the burger. While the burgers were cooking away in the oven I decided to whip up a tahini dressing to go with. Because doesn’t everyone like a little extra flavor? Speaking of flavor, this burger was jam-packed with it. I wanted something a little different so I upped the coriander and held back on the cumin. I just think cumin and black beans are such an obvious choice for burger flavors I wanted to experiment with it. And what did I learn? Well cumin is pretty great with black beans. But coriander gave it a whole new dimension that I wasn’t expecting, and it went great with the tahini dressing so it was a tasty surprise it turned out so well.
What if you’re not feeling tahini? Well, ketchup and mustard would be just fine. I’m sure while we’re out at the pool this summer we’ll be going with straight up normal condiments. And all will still be delicious. I highly recommend serving with a side of shoestring rosemary sweet potato fries and tomato and avocado for a complete delicious summer meal.
What are some of your favorite summer foods and excursions?
What You’ll Need for Burgers: What You’ll Need for Dressing: What You’ll Do:
Black Bean Quinoa Burgers with Garlic Tahini Dressing
What You’ll Need for Burgers:
What You’ll Need for Dressing:
What You’ll Do: