Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lentil-Walnut Burgers

Lentil-Walnut Burger

Every time the seasons change, I dig out one of my favorite cookbooks to get some inspiration. This recipe is actually from the summer section of the book, but temperatures are so hot this week, I felt it was appropriate. With a week of decadent dinners planned, I needed something lighter for lunch that would hold me until dinner, but wasn't too heavy. These warmly spiced vegetarian burgers fit the bill perfectly. They are full of flavor and hearty enough that you won't miss the meat at all.

Ingredients for Lentil-Walnut Burgers
Gather your ingredients

Cook the lentils
Cook the lentils

Toast the walnuts
Toast the walnuts

Walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, and spices
Walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, and spices

Grind them
Grind them

Whisk the egg
Whisk the egg

Mix it
Mix it all together

Divide the mixture
Divide it up

Form into patties
Form into patties

Cook the burger
Cook it

Drain on towels
Drain them

Add the cilantro and lemon juice
Make the yogurt

Lentil-Walnut Burger
Bon Appetit!

One year ago: Chickpea and Slow Roasted Tomato Stew with Kale and Chorizo
Two years ago: Quick Vietnamese Chicken Pho
Three years ago: Orange Chicken

Lentil-Walnut Burgers
(Adapted from Everyday Food)

Makes 4 burgers

3/4 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
3/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large egg

Yogurt-Cilantro sauce (recipe follows)
Pita pockets
Thinly sliced red onion
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced cucumbers
Baby spinach

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the lentils in a small saucepan and cover with 1 inch of well salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the lentils are tender, but still hold their shape, about 20 minutes. Drain the lentils and let them cool.

Meanwhile, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes until they are fragrant. Let cool.

In a food processor, combine the walnuts, panko, garlic, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Process until the mixture is finely ground. Add the lentils and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pulse until coarsely chopped (some lentils should remain whole).

In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Add the lentil mixture and mix to combine. Divide the mixture into 4 parts and form into patties.

Heat the remaining oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the burgers and cook until crisp and browned, 6-8 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil. Serve with the yogurt-cilantro sauce, pitas,  onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, and spinach.

Yogurt-Cilantro Sauce

3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, cilantro, and lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the lentil-walnut burgers.

Printable Recipe

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marla said...

I must try these burgers Esi. Perfect for Meatless Monday :)

Erica said...

How fun! I just put nuts in beef burgers, must try them in vegetarian burgers!

Maria said...

My kind of burger!

vanillasugarblog said...

its the sauce that has me girl!
love that nice brown crust too.

Joanne said...

The best thing about veggie burgers is that they can be enjoyed year round! Definitely need to try these!

Nancy said...

These look so tasty! I love falafel so I am sure that I would love these!!

Georgia Pellegrini said...

I love grain based burgers and I have a sack of lentils that I've been pondering. Thanks for the inspiration!

Diana said...

Can't wait to try these! Though I might have to cut back on the red pepper flakes cause I'm wimpy like that. ;)

Let Me Eat Cake said...

wait i somehow missed this post! those burgers look sooooo good almost like falafels! what a great use of lentils and love it with a pita bun.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

this looks great! i'm trying to cut down on meat and already love lentils. should keep this in mind ;)