For the past few days, the weather here has held more than a faint promise of spring. Robins and Red-Winged Blackbirds have been announcing their return at daybreak and the crocus on my front lawn are showing off their purple petals. The sun actually feels warm and the air is sweet and earthy. But the best announcement of the return of spring, occurs late in the afternoon, when the scent from a barbeque grill wafts through the air. This is one of my favorite spring rituals, a rite of passage if you may. There is something primal about cooking food outdoors, over open flame, a nod to yesteryear perhaps? And so, in celebration of grilling season, I offer this recipe for sweet potato and black bean burgers. This is the perfect recipe for those with dietary restrictions, and (so far) has pleased veggie and meat lovers alike. And how could it not? This burger features black beans, sweet potatoes, fresh cilantro and just the right amount of spice. Better still, it has no eggs, soy, or gluten of any kind (if you use gluten free oats). I found it simple to put together, and it contains ingredients I almost always have in my pantry or fridge.
These burgers put to shame any of the varieties you may find in the freezer aisle, and the best part is, you can prepare them ahead of time. Cook them in the skillet as directed, throw them in the freezer, and pop them on the grill when the weather permits.
You can serve these on a bun with cheese and avocado, or do what we do…make one of these burger-quesadilla hybrids “aka burger-dillas” with a cilantro lime coleslaw, avocado, and fresh tomato, all tucked snugly into a cheesy tortilla shell. Nom!