White bean patties

Feb.07.10 § 1 Comment

This super healthy recipe got turned not-so-healthy by my ever-present, burning desire for one thing: cheese. Still, all around it’s not bad. It’s pretty balanced as long as you keep the pasta serving small.

I took that crock pot full of nearly-mush white beans I mentioned and put them to good use. These patties are strikingly similar to the texture of crab cakes, except the chunks aren’t backfin crabmeat, they’re whole white beans, chopped onions, grated carrots and minced garlic. The flavor was on point and the tangy lemon juice was a good accent with the cheesy sauce. I adapted it from this recipe. Not only did I have a lot of beans on hand, I also had some leftover carrots and that recipe coincidentally called for shredded carrot.

These ingredients could have turned into a vegan cream of carrot soup, with white beans for creaminess and some warm curry flavors, vegetable broth and pureed carrots. That was, in fact, my original plan. But sometimes you want to bite into something, or see all your ingredients in an exciting presentation, or have a side of pasta. It makes me think back to simple family dinners when it was always a pasta, a vegetable and a protein  — usually meat. When I’m feeling like that, I deviate from strictly soups and get creative. In that same mood, I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago. Hated it. I can’t stand the taste of wheat gluten and I can’t really stomach it either, literally. But I’d had just enough for the recipe and it was fun to put together at least.

I’m thoroughly pleased with these recipe, although next time maybe I’ll use Old Bay instead of Italian seasoning just to get that faux-seafood fix. Yes, I eat seafood. But I never buy it to cook at home. It’s too expensive to get the quality I’d want and I don’t want to stink up my apartment in the cooking process, either.

The best part — aside from being made from beans, my one true love — is the recipe makes six patties. But I only wanted to eat one or two (I ate two, which made me feel completely stuffed.) So four are still in my freezer packed up for next week. See what a bag of dried beans can lead to?

Italian white bean patties
3 cups cooked white beans (two cans)
2 tbsps olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup finely grated carrots (about three medium carrots)
3 tbsps lemon juice
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup flour (bread crumbs are preferred, but use what you have)
1/4 tsp ground dried thyme
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 egg, beaten

You will need a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or wax paper on which you’ll chill the patties.

Begin by cooking the vegetables. Heat oil on medium heat, add onion and cook for about five minutes. Add carrots and garlic and cook for about one minute more. Remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients.

Drain and rinse the beans and put in a separate mixing bowl. Add lemon juice to beans. Smash beans with a fork or potato masher, leaving a couple whole here and there.

Add vegetables to beans and stir. Then add flour mixture to bean mixture and combine, adding the egg half-way through. You should get a pasty consistency. Then you’re ready to form some patties. Make six fist-size patties and place them evenly spaced apart on the baking sheet. Pop in the freezer for one half hour. This gives you time to cook some pasta or warm some buns depending on how you want to eat the patties.

After 30 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Add the olive oil to a frying pan on medium high heat. Fry patties for four minutes on each side. Thanks to the freezer, they’ll be easy to flip despite their consistency.

Serve on top of Fettuccine doused in alfredo sauce or, if I may recommend an alternative, on Italian bread with tomato sauce and provolone cheese.

Quick, light alfredo
1 cup milk
1 tbsp flour
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Pour the milk in a small sauce pan. Place the pan on high heat and begin stirring when the milk starts to warm. Add the flour and stir constantly for two minutes. You’re making a roux and you must stir. Then, add the cheese about 1/4 cup at a time, continuing to stir. The sauce should get quite thick by the time you add all the cheese. Remove from heat and pour straight on the pasta, reserving a bit to swirl on top of your patties. Enjoy!


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§ One Response to White bean patties

  • Brendan says:

    Hi Laura,

    I tried this one because m’lady is a vegetarian. Again, came out great. Awesome textures and flavors. I like your idea of going for more of a Maryland version. Next time, I think I’ll load them up with Old Bay and put them on buns.

    Thanks again.


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