When I was an art student I was. quite predictably some may say, a vegetarian for a few years. I loved cooking at home huge stir-fries and lentil dishes which were cheap and filling. We had a couple of the first vegetarian cafes in Brighton as well but I have to admit, my favourite treat was a Spicy Bean Burger from Wimpy. In those days we even had an old fashioned eat-in Wimpy restaurant in Brighton, with waitress service, so you could make quite an outing of it.
I wanted to recreate my own, but I still have a glut of sweet potato so I decided to add them too. I used my adobo sauce from my Spicy Chipotle Maple Roast Sweet Potato and Brussel Sprout Grain Bowls in the mix and also made a Chipotle mayonnaise to go in my burger, balanced out with some cool, refreshing avocado and I dare say, it was probably a damn sight better than the Wimpy one I so fondly remember.
Spicy Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers with Avocado
500g / 2 sweet potatoes
350g drained black beans
1 red onion, finely diced
1 tbsp homemade Adobo sauce
1 small bunch fresh coriander, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
High quality vegetable oil or coconut oil
4 hamburger buns (optional)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tsp homemade Adobo sauce
Optional other fillings – lettuce, tomato etc
Roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 200C. Slice the sweet potatoes down the centre lengthwise. Place the sweet potatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until they yield to a gentle squeeze, 30 to 40 minutes or longer. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin (it should pull off easily).
Meanwhile fry the onion in a little oil until translucent. Add a big tablespoon of Adobo sauce and fry for a minute more. Add the black beans and salt to taste, and mash with a potato masher. Add the sweet potato and mix well. Add the chopped coriander and check seasoning. You can now chill the mix or carry straight on, it is up to you. Shape the mix into 4 patties. You can use polenta flour to help if you like.
Pan fry the burgers: (If you chilled the mix, turn on your oven to 180C) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat. When it’s hot, place the burgers in the pan, leaving enough room to flip them. Cook for 4-5 minutes until browned on the bottom and flip. If your mix is cold, put the frying pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or so until hot all the way through. I you did not chill the mix, then just turn the hob heat right down and cook gently for 10 minutes or so.
Meanwhile stir the mayonnaise in with the Adobo sauce and serve a big dollop on each burger.
(Toast the buns (optional): Place the buns on a baking sheet, cut sides up, and bake until lightly toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes)
Serve with your favourite fillings – avocado, lettuce, tomato etc