Tuscan bean burgers with roasted red pepper sauce

Carlsbad, California

Hello Ladies,

The Man and I have been devouring the golden California sunshine since we arrived about two weeks ago. Gorgeous, hot, brilliant, caliente sun!

It’s weird not being in my Barcelona kitchen though, and it’s taken me some time to get used to my new digs. At home my pantry is stocked with all my go-to plant-based staples, not the case over here. I also caved and bought a food processor… I just couldn’t live without one. I’ve been putting my new purchase to good use by making super-duper healthy whole food plant-based meals like the tuscan bean burgers I want to share with you today. This new concoction boasts a toasted focaccia enclosing a hearty cannellini bean patty, topped with a roasted red pepper sauce, slow roasted cherry tomatoes and tangy arugula. Drooling yet?

Tuscan white bean burger on focaccia

I’ll admit it, they’re a bit of work but TOTALLY worth it.

I suggest making the red pepper sauce and the tomatoes ahead of time to save yourself the hassle of putting everything together at once. No focaccia? No problem! The burger will work equally well with a regular bun or between two slices of good bread.

Makes 4 burgers

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 2 medium red peppers, roasted with skins and seeds removed (see note below)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup of flat-leaf parsley, packed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping

  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper

For the burger:

  • Focaccia bread (or other type of bread)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 very large spring onions – whites only (or substitute 1/2 a medium red onion)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 1/4 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 1/4 cups or 1 can, drained cannellini beans (or other type of white bean)
  • 1/2 cup cooked farro
  • 1/4 pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 big pinches of crushed chili flakes (or more for the heat lovers!)
  • A few grinds of black pepper

NOTE: To roast red peppers, put them under the grill/broiler until the skin starts to char. Turn them over until the skin on all sides has started to turn black. Then place the peppers in a freezer bag and close tightly. This will allow the peppers to steam. Once the peppers have cooled a bit, enough to be handled, you should be able to peel the skin off very easily. Discard the seeds and the stem. Be sure to put the smoky leftover juice from the freezer bag into the sauce as it adds wonderful flavor.

Instructions

For the sauce

Throw all of the ingredients into the food processor and process until quite smooth. Scrape the sides down once or twice to make sure everything blends evenly. Taste for seasoning, and adjust. There, done. Easy, right?

Roasted red pepper sauce - vegan

For the topping

Set your oven to 120°C / 250°F.

Slice the cherry tomatoes in two, from head to toe, and place cut-side up on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or a silicon baking mat. Sprinkle evenly with salt and add a few good grinds of black pepper.

Slow roasted cherry tomatoes - going in the oven

Place in the oven and let slow roast for about 70 – 90 minutes depending on the size of your tomatoes. Mine were small and took 70 minutes. They’re done when they’ve reduced in size, are denser and are no longer “juicy” but rather “moist”.

Slow roasted cherry tomatoes - done

For the burgers

Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 360°F.

In a medium pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil before adding the onions. Sauté until the onions become soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and sprinkle some salt over them. Sauté until very soft and any liquid in the pan has just about evaporated.

Put the cooked mushrooms in your food processor. Add the cannellini beans, farro, pine nuts, bread crumbs, oregano, sea salt, chili flakes and black pepper. Pulse until well mixed but not smooth (a little chunkiness adds texture). The patty mix should be a little sticky but easy enough to shape into 4 large patties. If the mix is too wet, add extra bread crumbs 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the right consistency.

Tuscan white bean vegan burgers

Cook for 25 minutes then flip, taking care not to break the patties. Cook for an additional 20 – 25 minutes until the middle feels firm.

Toast your focaccia bread, add the patty and top with a generous helping of red pepper sauce, cherry tomatoes and arugula.

Stab a giant knife through the burger hipster-bistro-style and serve to your starving boyfriend who’ll wolf it down in 2 minutes flat (then ask if there are any leftovers).

Tuscan vegan bean burgers with focaccia

Veggie burger for your boyfriend

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8 thoughts on “Tuscan bean burgers with roasted red pepper sauce

  1. Emily February 18, 2016 at 5:54 am Reply

    Yum! Is this what you made when I was in Barcelona? I don’t deal well with white beans- did you use something else?

    Delicious!

    • Beth @ Culinary Correspondence February 18, 2016 at 5:57 pm Reply

      Hey hun, no the burgers I made in Barcelona were the bean burgers from the Oh She Glows cookbook (I think she uses black beans in that recipe), although I changed the spices.

      For this recipe I suggest subbing chickpeas for the white beans, I think it would be just as tasty. Let me know if you try it!

  2. nigel williams February 18, 2016 at 9:28 am Reply

    The post looks great. I really like the photos!

  3. Hanin February 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm Reply

    Beth,
    The pics are so pretty- it is definitely a recipe you are welcome to make when you come back!!! Miam
    am I crazy or has the Man accepted to reveal his secret identity in the last picture!? Haha
    We miss you guys a lot and are jealous of sunny California !
    Enjoy your time with Emi 😉
    Gros bisou!

    • Beth @ Culinary Correspondence February 18, 2016 at 6:01 pm Reply

      Haha! I checked with him to make sure it was ok to reveal so much 😉 I promise to make these when we get back. Let’s hope my pint-sized veggie burger tester likes them!

  4. Jan February 18, 2016 at 9:51 pm Reply

    What a beautiful post!!!
    I would love to taste these burgers…but wow what a lot of work. On the other hand – what a treat for Mothers’ Day-hint, hint.

    • Beth @ Culinary Correspondence February 19, 2016 at 5:23 pm Reply

      There are a lot of steps but nothing very difficult. To make it simpler you could use canned peppers and tomates confites. That said, it would be my pleasure to make these for you 🙂

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