Prep : 40 minutes Total time : 2 hours + 4 hour soaking Makes 8 servings
1-1/4 cups dried black beans, rinsed and picked over, then soaked for 4 hours and drained
3-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup farro
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 toasted buns
Smokey Red Pepper Spread and thickly sliced red onions, for serving
**Vegetable oil, for sautéing**
1 . In a saucepan, cover the beans with 2 inches of water. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 1 hour; add water as needed to keep the beans covered by 2 inches. When the beans are tender, season them with salt and let stand for 5 minutes; drain.
2 . Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the farro and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the grains are al dente, 30 minutes.
3 . In a small skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook over moderate heat until softened. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes.
4 . In a food processor, pulse all but 1/2 cup of the beans to a chunky puree; transfer to a bowl. Fold in the remaining 1/2 cup of beans, the farro, the onion mixture, eggs, bread crumbs, basil, cilantro, pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Form the mixture into 8 patties. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5 . In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1/8 inch of vegetable oil. Add the burgers and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned and heated through, about 6 minutes. Transfer the burgers to the buns. Top with the Smoky Red Pepper Spread and the onion slices, close the burgers and serve.
Make AheadThe burgers can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight.
Earthy and spicy, these bean burgers will pair well with an equally hearty red wine, like a peppery old-vine Zinfandel. Try one from the up-and-coming Paso Robles region in California.
Most veggie burgers are a pale imitation of the all-beef original, but even with ordinary black beans in place of Rancho Gordo Midnight beans, these robust patties with roasted red pepper spread are moist and delicious. The spread doubles as a fantastic dipping sauce for French fries.