Thursday, September 29, 2011

Meeting up with lentils again
in the form of a terrific burger

I first crossed paths with lovely lentils last year when I made the terrific recipe Mustard-Crusted Pork with Carrots and Lentils.
   I loved the wheaty taste and texture of lentils, and how well they took to being covered with herby oils and dressings.
   Since then I’ve lay in wait, watching for another lentil recipe to catch my eye to try.
   I spotted my prey recently in the Sept./Oct. issue of Eating Well magazine: Lentil Burgers (click for the recipe).
   I’ve made Black Bean Burgers before, and they were delicious. Now it was time to try lovely lentils in burger form.
   I wasn’t disappointed. These burgers were delicious and every bit as meaty as if they were made with ground beef. My husband loved them, too.
   You might think these would be dry, but they weren’t at all. And I loved the fact that very little was needed to jazz up the burgers – just some lettuce and sliced tomato (we skipped the thinly-sliced red onion as we don’t like red onion raw.)
   A word of caution: My husband made the lentil mixture, and found it was loose and not very suitable for making patties.
   I suggested he treat the mixture like pancake batter, waiting for a glop of it to firm up well in the pan before flipping it.
   He followed that idea, and it worked like a charm.
   We substituted fresh oregano for fresh marjoram in the recipe.
   Coarsely-chopped garlic and salt are mashed to a paste with the side of a knife. Toasted walnuts (my husband toasted them in a skillet) are chopped in a food processor.
   Whole-wheat sandwich bread that has been torn into pieces, fresh oregano, pepper and the garlic paste are added to the food processor and processed until coarse crumbs form; lentils (we used canned) and Worcestershire sauce are added and the mixture processed until it just comes together into a mass.
   The recipe says to them form the mixture into four patties. Forming a firm patty may not be possible – form a patty as best you can and put it into the oiled pan immediately, letting it spread out like a pancake. After two to four minutes of cooking time, carefully turn the patties over.
   Serve the burgers on toasted buns with lettuce and tomatoes.

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