Mendocino Black Bean Burger with Roasted Corn and Chipotle Aioli

Mendocino Black Bean Burger with Roasted Corn and Chipotle Aioli
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About This Recipe

On a recent trip to Mendocino, I was captivated by the lush landscape, charming vineyards, and the incredible food culture of the area. It was during a lovely wine tasting event that I decided to create a recipe that would truly capture the essence of California wine country. And so, the Mendocino Black Bean Burger with Roasted Corn and Chipotle Aioli was born. This mouthwatering, vegetarian burger showcases the rich, earthy flavors of Northern California's produce, making it a perfect homage to the region's culinary heritage.

For this burger, I recommend locally sourced ingredients. You can find the freshest black beans, corn, and bell peppers at your nearby farmer's market or even grow them yourself in your home garden. The adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers adds a delightful smoky and spicy touch, perfectly balancing the sweetness of the roasted corn.

When it comes to side dishes, I love serving these burgers with a crisp, refreshing California wine country salad made with mixed greens, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and a tangy vinaigrette. Another great option is a hearty kale and quinoa salad, tossed with roasted beets, feta cheese, and a lemon-tahini dressing. For dessert, try a luscious lavender panna cotta or a decadent chocolate truffle torte, both of which pair beautifully with a glass of local dessert wine.

Speaking of wine, these black bean burgers would be perfectly complemented by a glass of full-bodied red, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. When choosing a winery to visit, consider stopping by Silver Oak Winery, an impressive estate with a vast selection of wines. For a more intimate experience, check out the family-run Fantesca Estate & Winery or the boutique Peju Province Winery. Each offers a unique wine tasting experience that will elevate your appreciation for California wine country.

The Mendocino region is a haven for food and wine lovers alike. The stunning coastline, vibrant vineyards, and delectable cuisine make it an ideal destination for culinary enthusiasts. Whether you're a home chef looking for inspiration or a sommelier seeking the perfect wine pairing, this area offers endless possibilities.

As you embark on your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures, don't forget to explore the hidden gems and local businesses that make this region so special. From artisan cheese shops to charming bed and breakfasts, there's always something new and exciting to discover. So gather your ingredients, pour a glass of your favorite wine, and enjoy crafting this delicious Mendocino Black Bean Burger with Roasted Corn and Chipotle Aioli. Happy cooking, and cheers to your Napa Valley-inspired culinary adventures!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Black Beans

Black beans are a nutritional powerhouse and the star ingredient in our Mendocino Black Bean Burger. Packed with fiber and protein, they not only provide a meaty texture to vegetarian and vegan dishes but are also known for their numerous health benefits. Rich in antioxidants, black beans support heart health and aid in digestion. Moreover, they’re a versatile staple in many global cuisines, making them an excellent choice for a variety of dishes, from soups to desserts.

How to Perfectly Roast Corn

Roasting corn elevates its natural sweetness, providing a delightful contrast to the spicy and smoky elements in a dish. Here's a step-by-step guide to roasting corn:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Remove the husks and silk from the corn cobs.
  3. Rub each cob with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the cobs on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, until the kernels are tender and have a golden-brown color.
  6. Allow the corn to cool slightly, then use a sharp knife to slice the kernels off the cob.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use canned corn instead of fresh?Absolutely. If using canned corn, ensure it’s drained well. However, for the best flavor, fresh corn roasted as per the above method is recommended.
  2. What can I substitute for egg to make it vegan?For a vegan alternative, use a flax egg (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 2.5 tablespoons of water, let sit for 15 minutes) or mashed avocado.
  3. How can I store leftover patties?Store any leftover patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to a month. To reheat, bake in the oven or pan-fry until hot throughout.
  4. Are there alternatives to breadcrumbs for those with gluten allergies?Certainly! You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs, ground oats, or even crushed gluten-free cereal as an alternative binder.
  5. Is there a lighter alternative to mayonnaise for the aioli?Greek yogurt can be used as a lighter and tangier substitute for mayonnaise in the chipotle aioli.

Tips for Success

  1. Bean Consistency Matters: When mashing the black beans, ensure you leave some chunks for texture. A completely smooth mash might lead to patties that are too soft.
  2. Flavor Intensification: For an even more profound flavor, consider sautéing the red onions and bell peppers before adding them to the mixture. This caramelizes the veggies and infuses the patty with a richer taste.
  3. Serving Ideas: Serve these black bean burgers with a side of sweet potato fries or a fresh coleslaw. Their flavors perfectly complement the earthiness of the burger and the kick of the chipotle aioli.

Recipe Overview

Mendocino Black Bean Burger with Roasted Corn and Chipotle Aioli
Lily Anderson
4 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup roasted corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 burger buns, toasted

For the Chipotle Aioli:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mash the black beans with a fork or potato masher until mostly smooth but still with some texture.
  2. Stir in the roasted corn, red bell pepper, red onion, breadcrumbs, cilantro, egg, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.
  3. Shape the mixture into four equal-sized patties.
  4. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Cook the patties for 5 minutes per side or until heated through and slightly crispy on the outside.
  5. While the patties cook, prepare the chipotle aioli by whisking together the mayonnaise, lime juice, adobo sauce, and minced garlic in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of chipotle aioli on the bottom half of each toasted bun. Place a black bean patty on top, and finish with the top half of the bun.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

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