|Veggie Burgers for All|
Feb 5th, 2007
I've been putting off writing about these because they turned out so well and I wanted to be able to write something more than "mmmmm, drooool, slurp." But nothing terribly witty or cogent is coming to mind, so I'll put in a couple of pictures and hope for the best.
These aren't the fastest things in the world to make, so I did all the cooking of lentils and sauteing of vegetables on one day and let the formed patties rest in the fridge overnight. Then it was easy to fry up the patties for lunch the next day. Extra patties freeze well and are great to pack for lunch in the morning along with some hummus and pita.
The patties are a little dry on their own, so either the Taratour sauce or something like hummus really is essential. I don't always love tahini-based sauces, but this one is perfectly tangy from the garlic and lemon.
I've got one of these babies left in the freezer, and I'm guarding it jealously. Mmmmm, drool, slurp.
Red Lentil-Chickpea Burgers with Taratour Saucemakes 6 burgersBurgers:
3/4 cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 3/4 cups water
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for sauteing
1/2 cup minced shallots
3/4 lb carrots, cut into small dice (1 cup)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh from whole-grain bread
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
6 whole-wheat pitas
Shredded romaine lettuce
Chopped fresh tomatoes
Combine the lentils and the water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. The lentils should lose their individual shape and cook into one mass. Cook them as dry as they can go without sticking. If you find the water has evaporated before the lentils are cooked, add a small amount of water and continue cooking.
Stir the cooked lentils with a spoon to break them up, and pour them into a medium bowl. Stir in the chickpeas.
Warm the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, carrots, and 1/4 tsp salt, and cook until the carrots are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, and peas, and cook until the peas are tender, 2 minutes. Stir the vegetables into the lentils along with the parsley, lemon juice, and cayenne. Stir in the bread crumbs. Taste, and add a pinch more salt if necessary. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or until it is cool enough to handle.
Using your hands, form the lentils into 6 tight patties and place them on a plate. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until very firm, at least 30 minutes.
Saute the burgers: Warm a tablespoon of oil, or enough to coat the bottom of the pan, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Hold your hand about 4 inches from the pan, and when it feels uncomfortably hot, add the burgers. These burgers are a bit delicate, so do not crowd the pan. Saute until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn the burgers over and saute on the other side until golden, 2 minutes. Serve each burger in a pita with Taratour sauce, topped with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes.
Whisk the tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, and salt together in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the scallions. Add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, if needed to thin the sauce. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.
-Myra Kornfeld, The Healthy Hedonist