Today felt like spring in Chapel Hill. Fortunately, I had the ideal warmer-weather meal to pair with my day of porch sitting (among more productive pursuits)–a fresh sandwich chock full of veggies and protein and other Healthy Things That Actually Taste Delicious.
To be fair, I actually eat these lentil “burgers” year-round. They’re too tasty to be seasonal. They just seemed particularly relevant today.
The recipe was inspired by my friend Miri Leigh, who has a wonderful food blog and far more food expertise than I. She got the recipe from Mark Bittman, who has some of the best recipes around. Lots of brilliance in that bunch, I tell ya.
Green Lentil “Burgers”:
1/2 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 green onion
1 cup spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1 carrot, grated
1 small yellow zucchini, grated
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1) Place the lentils in a medium pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until tender. (About 30 minutes.) Drain.
2) Pulse the garlic and scallions in a food processor until well-grated. Add the lentils and all remaining ingredients, except the breadcrumbs, into the food processor. Combine well. (Without a food processor, you just need to mash everything together. It’ll take a bit longer, but it’s worth the effort!)
3) Mix breadcrumbs into the mixture, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. The lentil mixture will be wet, but dries off a bit in the fridge.
4) Heat olive oil in a pan. Form patties with the lentil mixture and place in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. (Once I’ve flipped mine, I add mozzarella cheese to the cooked side.) Place onto a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.
I serve my lentil burgers on toasted whole wheat buns and plate them with salad (when I’m feeling healthy) and sweet potato fries (when I’m feeling American). Oh, and sometimes I top them with curry mayonnaise. (Curry seasoning + mayo).
Dessert can be decadent after such a nutritionally-balanced dinner. But that post is for tomorrow…