Fall Veggie Burgers With Black Bean & Sweet Potato

The Spring Veggie Burger recipe is a fantastic staple for quick meals, and this seasonal reprise is a delicious variation.  It has a sweeter flavor combination with apples and sweet potatoes, and a great balance of proteins with black beans and pecans.  Serve on a freshly baked bun with fresh arugula, Basil Garlic Aioli, and Roasted Tomatoes & Peppers seasoned with chipotle chile pepper or smoked serrano pepper.

Ingredients: (Recipe for about 3 dozen burgers) About 4 cups cooked black beans, or three 15-oz cans (drained and rinsed) 1 cup dry wild rice or quinoa, cooked with Rapunzel vegetable bouillon until tender 3 bunches of greens (kale, collards, kohlrabi greens, etc.), stems trimmed, blanched and chopped finely 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and diced small 1 bunch of radishes, trimmed and diced small A 3-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated 1 large, or two medium sweet potatoes, finely chopped About 2 cups of shiitake mushrooms, stems removed & finely chopped 1 apple, finely chopped 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped 12 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and minced or crushed 2 cups ground pecans 1 Tbs dried or fresh thyme 1 tsp ground allspice 1/2 tsp ground cloves Black or red pepper to taste 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs 1 cup whole wheat flour Juice from one lemon 2 farm fresh eggs 1/2 cup olive oil 1 Tbs sea salt

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with oiled parchment paper. Add all ingredients to a large bowl in the order listed. (You can prepare some ahead of time if desired.) Combine well, then form into patties (or make balls, then press gently on the baking sheet until it forms a patty.)  Bake on oiled and lined baking sheets for about 30 minutes.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving, or until cool before storing.  (The burgers will be quite crumbly when they first come out of the oven, but are firm enough to move once they have cooled.) Gently remove the burgers from the baking sheet with a spatula and place in freezer bags or containers, with parchment paper between each layer. Warm in a skillet, toaster oven, or microwave oven before serving.

Preparation suggestions: All of the vegetables can be chopped in a food processor, but I like to hand-dice the radishes and kohlrabi a little larger so the burgers have a little crunch and texture. For the sweet potatoes, mushrooms, apple, onion and garlic, however, it's easier to chop them finely in a food processor.  You can leave the skins on the sweet potatoes and apples, so no need to do any peeling beforehand.  If you tried the Spring Veggie Burger recipe earlier this year, you will notice that this one has a slightly different texture.  There is a lot of moisture in the fall veggies, so you have to make sure you don't salt the mixture too soon.  The salt will cause the vegetables to release their juices, so you may want to add it just before you begin to form the patties. Also, the parchment or waxed paper is essential. Since the sugars in the sweet potatoes and apples will caramelize while baking, and therefore stick to the pan if the parchment is not used.