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Black Bean Burger with Cheddar and Caramelised Onions


This mouth-watering meat-free burger recipe comes from a new vegetarian cookbook by self-proclaimed ‘cabbage butcher’ Martin Nordin.

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Green Burgers, published this month, is full of vegetarian burgers, sides and accompaniments, such Beer-Marinated Aubergine Burger with Miso-Fried Carrots and Deep-Fried Sage, a Chickpea and Grilled Pepper Burger with Dill-Dunked Cucumber Salad, and Roasted Sweet Potato Chips with Grated Swiss Cheese.

Black Bean Burger with Cheddar and Caramelised Onions

Recipe and image from Green Burgers, by Martin Nordin, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $29.99.


For 6 burgers:
400g (2½ cups) cooked black beans
Rapeseed or peanut oil for frying
65g (scant ½ cup) finely chopped onion
1 tsp mild chilli powder (eg Piment d’Espelette)
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
3 tbsp BBQ sauce
50g (scant ½ cup) dry-roasted walnuts (see below)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
100g (scant ½ cup) boiled black rice
25g (scant ½ cup) panko breadcrumbs
Sea salt

Caramelised onions:
2 onions
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

To serve:
120g cheddar
6 burger buns
Butter for the buns
Cos lettuce


Rinse the beans in cold water and drain in a colander.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the onions over a fairly high heat until they have taken on colour and are on the verge of burning.

Reduce the heat, add the chilli and paprika powders and stir. Stir in the BBQ sauce and take the frying pan off the heat.

Roast the walnuts as described below.

Chop the walnuts and put them in a bowl together with the beans, coriander, rice, panko breadcrumbs and a pinch of salt. Mix the ingredients together with a potato masher (the beans should only be lightly mashed). Add the onion mixture and stir so that everything is well combined.

Take a handful of mixture at a time and shape into 6 round patties, either by hand or using a food ring. Put the patties on a large plate and cover with cling film (plastic wrap). Put in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably longer, so that they will hold together better when you fry them.

For the caramelised onions, peel and chop the onions and put them into a cold saucepan. Add the butter and put the saucepan over a medium heat, and then put the lid on. The onions will soon start to release liquid, and the flavours will be concentrated as a result of cooking in their own juices. Stir with a wooden spoon about once every 5 minutes for 30–40 minutes, and check they are not burning. (If you notice they’re starting to get dry you can add the vinegar earlier.)

Remove the lid, pour over the vinegar, raise the heat and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring, until considerably reduced. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4).

Heat a few tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the patties for a few minutes on both sides until they have developed a nice colour. Transfer them to an ovenproof dish. Put a few slices of cheese on each patty, place in the oven and leave until the cheese has melted.

Butter the buns on the cut surface and fry them quickly in a frying pan or grill (broil) them in the oven.

Place a patty on the bottom of each bun. Put a cos lettuce leaf on top and slap on a generous spoonful of the caramelised onion.

Dry-Roasted Walnuts


1kg walnuts with shells (or 500g walnuts without shells)
2tsp mild chilli powder


Crack open the walnuts and remove the shells.

Heat a dry frying pan, ideally a cast-iron one. Toast the nuts over a medium heat until they start to take on a little colour, for about 2 minutes. Shake the pan now and then so the nuts do not get too burnt, but don’t worry if they burn slightly – it creates a good flavour.

Take the pan off the heat and season with chilli and salt.

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