One of my favorite places to grab lunch is at Feast in Bucktown. While their menu has lots of options, I have a hard time veering from my favorite thing on the menu- the black bean burger. I've been trying to find a similar recipe and think I've finally come close. You can make 6 of these at one time, cook them, and then freeze them individually for a quick, easy, and healthy meal.
-2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
-2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
-1 shallot, minced
-3/4 c. fresh cilantro, minced
-3/4 c. panko bread crumbs
-a few grinds of black pepper
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Combine the panko with 2 tsp. of the olive oil and mix with a fork to blend. Add the mixture to the skillet to toast the panko, stirring frequently until light golden brown. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temp.
Place 2.5 cups of the beans in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork until mostly smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, 1 Tbsp. of the oil, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes and whisk to blend. Add the egg mixture, toasted panko, the remaining 1/2 cup of beans, bell pepper, cilantro, and shallot to the bowl with the mashed beans. Stir together until evenly combined.
Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, about 1/2 cup each. Lightly pack into 1-inch thick patties. (At this point the patties can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before cooking). Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully lay half of the patties in the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, about 8 minutes total.
This is especially delicious served with a few slices of avocado or tomato.