Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Vegetarian Lentil Burgers

These were SO yummy! I liked them even better than the beef burgers we had last night. :-)
In this recipe the burger IS the bun. You split it as you would an English muffin and then fill with whatever you want. The Monster decided to eat his with a knife and fork, but I just ate mine with my paws.
You can spice them up any way you like. I deviated from 101 Cookbooks' original recipe by adding cumin, garlic powder, a diced jalapeno, cracked black pepper and more salt. I also didn't use near the amount of onion called for originally. Green French lentils had to take the place of black ones, since I couldn't find the black. But, I really liked the green and would probably just make them with those again. I filled our burgers with sliced avocado, vine-ripe tomato slices, and a delicious moist feta (this really made the burger for me). Topped it all with some homemade ketchup from the night before and it made for a real winner of a dinner. The recipe made 7 burgers that were about 4" each. I cooked them all then froze 3. I'll update this post to let you know if freezing was an advisable thing to do. (Worked great...thawed out beautifully and tasted just as good! I might just make up a double batch next so we have them on hand in the freezer all the time.)
We ate the cauliflower from last night mixed with some freshly roasted squash and baked new potato slices. I had to find more vehicles for the homemade ketchup afterall!

Vegetarian Lentil Burgers:
(Adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

3 cups cooked French green lentils
4 large eggs
~3/4 tsp teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (taste the goo before cooking it to see if it's seasoned enough)
1 tsp+ cumin
a couple cloves of garlic and then a couple shakes of garlic powder to taste (I didn't measure, sorry)
black pepper
diced jalapeno seeds and ribs removed
~1/2+ cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup toasted fine (whole-grain) bread crumbs (I just whizzed up 2 whole wheat hamburger buns in the food processor and toasted in the oven at 300 on a baking sheet...stirring every so often til toasted)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)

Optional toppings:
sliced avocado
sliced tomato
feta cheese
homemade ketchup
or as in our case...all of the above! :-)

Wash and sort your lentils. Put them in a 3 qt. saucepan and cover with about 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes.
Drain the lentils well and let cool for a bit.
Combine the lentils, eggs, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is the consistency of a runny yet textured hummus. Just pulse until it comes together nicely, don't over process. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the onion and jalapeno. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a very moist mixture that you can easily form into ~6-7 4" wide x 1 1/2-inch-thick patties. "I err on the moist side here, because it makes for a nicely textured burger. You can always add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter." I didn't have to add anything.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, add 4 patties, cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cover, cooking the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Carefully cut each patty in half, insert your favorite fillings, and enjoy immediately. We now tend to just slice them in half and then eat them open faced, topped with goodies.


Sara said...

e - these burgers look AWESOME. I couldn't help noticing they look like a conduit for avocado and feta ... what I look for ... lol. thanks for commenting on my blog. great to see you and scott this weekend. you both look so healthy. xoxo - s

Beth said...

Do you really mean for 3 cups cooked lentils? The first step is to cook them, so I used 3 cups uncooked. It made a TON of burgers and they turned out ok, but how much did you use of the uncooked lentils to get 3 cups cooked? I also had to improvise since I was cooking away from home - just mushed the lentils with a glass. They were a hit with Mike and his dad. I also tried your homemade ketchup. I didn't measure and went WAY overboard on the cumin, but it was still good.

Erndog said...

Hey Beth, yes the original recipe does read 3 cups cooked. I think I started with at least 1.5 cups dry and even though I had some left after scooping my 3 cups for the burgers I used the rest in a nice quick salad with chopped tomato, feta, fresh mint and lemon the next day. I'll just bet you had a ton o' burgers! So good seeing you guys! Will have to check in with your progress on your blog...you've updated it I hope! :-)