The word “burger” is misleading here. These Fava Bean Brugers are closer to falafel or corn cakes than to hamburgers. In any case, they are tasty and extremely nutritious way to get your vegetables. This recipe works great for winter because you can use fresh or frozen vegetables. The fava beans were leftover from last year’s harvest, as were the jalapeños. You could also use frozen spinach, although you would have to drain out extra water.
The fava bean burger can be the star of dinner or an accompaniment. I served them in pita bread with sour cream, cucumbers, avocado, and lettuce. You could also serve them plain with a little bit of sour cream or as the side to another dish.
I’ve adapted this recipe from Plenty, which is one of the most promising vegetarian cookbooks I’ve come across. If you don’t like fava beans, this recipe would work great with any other similar bean. Lima beans, perhaps?
Fava Bean Burgers
3 Tbs olive oil
1 lb fava beans, shelled
1 bunch spinach (about 1/2 lb), chopped
3/4 lb potatoes, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp coriander
3/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 Tbs chopped parsley
6 Tbs breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
Pour the fava beans into salted boiling water. Let boil for about 30 seconds then transfer into an ice bath. Carefully remove the outer skin from the fava bean, like so:
Set fava beans aside. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan, add the olive oil and garlic. Simmer about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and cook until wilted.
In a bowl, mix together potatoes, fava beans, all spices, jalapeño, 2 Tbs of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher, then add the spinach, parsley, and breadcrumbs. Transfer the whole thing to a food processor and mix until all the ingredients are integrated. Don’t worry about everything looking uniform and perfect. You may have to work in batches.
Taste and adjust flavors accordingly. Add the egg to the mix.
Now shape into patties about 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. Stick in the fridge until they have thoroughly cooled, about 10-20 minutes. (I used this time to clean the messy kitchen.) Finally, cook the patties. Heat a generous amount of canola oil in the bottom of a pan and fry the burgers on high for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and serve as described above.
If there are leftovers, the fava bean burger keeps in the fridge for several days and make a great lunch.