Heading out to the farm for Friday's lunch with Meadowlark, I could tell that there was a possibility for rain. I had talked with Chef Nancy earlier about making an entirely separate space for my shooting. I wanted to be out the way, and I also knew that the granary substitutes as the dining room during a rain out. It would be too crowded for me in there...
So, I headed into the flower barn as soon as I got to the farm. There were fresh flowers in there, ready for the friday CSA delivery. The bucket for Burritts Market batch of flowers was in there. Off in the corner was a double bed frame, and I wondered if there was a way to use the headboard. There were tables, buckets, flowers, barn wood, dust- perfect for my photo shoot. It was simply a matter of finding a nice square 4x4 foot space with good light.
Shooting space prepared, food on the way, the rain started. The big surprise to all of us was when it rained it also started to hail. Yes, Nancy's car got a few pings in it.
I was glad to have had a plan.
Rosie agreed, and asked if we could play "frisbee".
Of course I had to check on the food first. The Black Bean Burgers were well on the way. Who doesn't love a great vegetarian burger? I was thrilled to watch the process unfold. (Rosie too!)
Nancy laid the black bean burger on a bed of lemony, dressed arugula along with a slice of homemade bread. She squirted the burger with a shot of mustard and garnished it with a few freshly cut scallions, and added a sprinkling of sea salt and I was on my way. I could take the burger into the solace of the barn and take pictures of my veggie Black Bean Burger.
The Black Bean Burgers were so yummy. The stone ground mustard hit just the right note with the black bean. (I've been into pairing flavors lately, so my tastebuds are attuned!) But, still I had to beg Nancy for the recipe for this burger. She didn't want me to give away all of the secrets of our upcoming cookbook. So, consider this a sneak peak at all of the really fantastic recipes that will be included in our Meadowlark Farm Cookbook.
Black Bean Burgers for Everyone
Frying in coconut oil takes these to another taste dimension.
From the upcoming Meadowlark Farm Cookbook by Nancy Krcek Allen with photographer Beryl Striewski
Yields about 2-1/4 cups, yielding nine 1/4-cup patties
2 cups cooked black beans (from 1 cup dried)
1 cup packed shredded zucchini, about 2 medium
2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
1/3 cup sliced shallots
1/2 to 3/4 cup toasted walnuts or other nuts
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (stems too)
1-1/2 teaspoons dry oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
1/2 cup chickpea flour or unbleached white flour
Coconut or olive oil for frying
Condiments and bun or arugula salad
1. If starting from dry, rinse beans well. (If starting from canned, simply drain beans.) Cover dry, rinsed beans with 3 cups cold water and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer beans 2 hours. Check the water level periodically and add enough to keep beans covered by 1-inch. When beans are tender, remove pot from heat. When cooled, pour beans through strainer; there should be 2 cups beans. Discard liquid.
2. Toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside 15 to 20 minutes, squeeze out excess liquid and set aside. In a small sauté pan, over medium heat, add oil and shallots. Cook shallots, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes; scrape into small bowl and set aside.
3. In a food processor, pulse walnuts, cilantro, oregano, paprika and cumin until chopped with some texture. Set aside in a mixing bowl. Pour black beans and shallots in the food processor and pulse five plus times until combined, but with texture. Add shredded zucchini and pulse several more times. Scrape bean-zucchini mixture into mixing bowl with walnuts and herbs. Stir in ground chia seeds; rest mixture 10 minutes in refrigerator.
4. Using a 1/4-cup dry measuring cup, pack bean mixture into cup and scrape the top level. Cover a sheet pan lightly with sifted chickpea flour or rub with coconut oil. Tamp out bean mixture in measuring cup onto flour or oil, and form into small patties with oiled hands or dip both sides lightly into flour.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a skillet with 1/4-inch oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, lay burgers in and brown on each side. Place on clean parchment-covered sheet pan and into oven to stay warm. Alternatively, brush burgers liberally with oil and bake for 30 minutes. Flip halfway through.
6. Serve burgers in buns or on arugula salad dressed with lemon and olive oil and with toppings like: grilled onions, sliced tomatoes, sliced avocado; peeled, sliced cucumber, lettuce, Dijon mustard and ketchup.
Black Bean Burgers for Everyone have absolutely nothing to do with chickens. But, I find them outright fascinating. I want one of them to be my friend, one day. I always find that the way to an animals heart is through food, so I asked if I could throw the veggie scraps to them.
We're slowly getting to know each other...