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.
Gather your ingredients
Cook the lentils
Toast the walnuts
Walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, and spices
Whisk the egg
Mix it all together
Divide it up
Form into patties
Make the yogurt
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
(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)
Thinly sliced red onion
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.
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.