Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lentil Burger

This is a delicious burger that doesn’t require a bun: The lentil patties that you cook are split in half and stuffed with whatever you like. This avoids the dryness that comes with stuffing patties in a bun. You can get really creative with what you put between these lentil patties. If you don’t want to stuff them, you can just enjoy the patties as they are, with a dip. The patties in the picture are stuffed with saffron yogurt, avocado, lettuce, and onions.

Lentils are sources of molybdenum, tryptophan, potassium, protein, folic acid, dietary fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, amino acids, carbohydrates, thiamine, manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate and iron. Lentils are also very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium.

I cooked 1 ½ cups of dry green lentils in water and a little chicken broth to obtain 3 cups of cooked lentils. This recipe is a simple base you can feel free to adapt by adding ingredients such as chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chives, finely chopped walnuts, or even a bit of corn to the lentil mixture. This is a great healthy dish to serve to your guests with dips or various fruits and vegetables they can stuff themselves.

3 cups cooked lentils
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup toasted fine whole-grain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Combine the lentils, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a runny yet textured hummus: many of the lentils will remain whole. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the onion. 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 twelve 1 1/2-inch-thick patties. Add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. 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 cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until brown. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Carefully cut each patty in half and insert your favorite fillings.

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