I am in love with… bell peppers 🙂 As summer draws near and the days are getting longer and hotter, my body – exhausted by the calorific excesses of the winter season – craves fresh, light and nutritious dishes. Gone are the days when comfort foods were queens. Now is the perfect time to cook healthy and colorful dishes – and what can be healthier and more colorful than bell peppers? Rich in vitamin C and poor in calories, they are best eaten raw, alongside hummus or a light vinaigrette. Still, their natural beauty and abundance of flavor shine through whether served on their own or as ingredients in more elaborate dishes.
I like to use bell peppers to make vegetarian burgers. It is an easy recipe, with a few components which never fail to deliver.
The variously colored bell peppers take center stage, and they are joined by beans, red onion and fresh parsley to create a delightful summer dish for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. I use canned butter beans, but I think you can use other bean varieties without a problem.
Some might find these burgers way too sweet due to the abundance of peppers. Seasoning usually takes care of that. Also, you can add 1/2 tsp (or more!) of chili powder for an extra spicy kick.
1 15oz can butter beans, drained
2 whole eggs
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped orange bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chili powder (optional)
Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a pan. Put the onion in the pan and cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped peppers and cook for around 10 minutes or until the peppers have softened. Take them from the pan and let them cool.
Put the beans in a bowl and crush them using a fork. Add the cooked onion and peppers and the chopped parsley. Add the eggs and the bread crumbs and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper or chili powder.
Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a pan. Make patties by hand and fry them in the pan over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the patties over half-way through the process.
I usually serve these patties in a combo which includes sliced tomato (for super freshness), freshly cut romaine lettuce (for crunchiness) and sliced dill pickles (for a good flavor contrast). I toast the buns to make them slightly crispy, and smear them on the inside with French mustard. You can of course serve these burgers in many other ways, as per your tastes, preferences, and dietary requirements.
We love the harmony of flavors and textures in these burgers, which bring together the simplicity and earthiness of the beans and onions with the understated beauty and vibrant flavor of the peppers. The pickles and the mustard provide a touch of assertiveness, while the crunchiness of the buns and the lettuce makes the taste experience complete.
Long live these vegetarian burgers – and long live bell peppers 🙂