Classic Lentil Burgers
Another veggie burger? Yes, it’s true. But guys, listen. This just so happens to be THE veggie burger. As in, the best one I’ve made yet.
The inspiration came to me a few weeks ago while the man and I were out gallivanting around Berkeley. We stopped for lunch at one of our favorite fast food vegan places, Nature’s Express, and I ordered a lentil burger that was so good, it was gone in under 30 seconds flat. No joke- I stuffed that scheisse in my face so fast you might’ve missed it had you blinked.
Don’t worry, I make Brandon close his eyes while this takes place. You know, to keep the romance alive.
To be honest, the real romance was between me and that burger. Normally I would go back to Nature’s Express on a weekly basis to spend some quality time with it on the DL, if you know what I mean, but the traffic in Berkeley is a HUGE deterrent for me.
Mama does not like sitting on her butt for hours while listening to the same three songs on the radio and watching her gas tank slowly deplete. No.thank.you.
So instead, what must occur is recreation. Or imitation. It is the sincerest form of flattery, yes?
I don’t have the exact recipe or even an ingredient list to go by so these are based on a memory of thirty seconds of bliss.
Lentils, carrot, onion, small bits of sunflower seeds and walnuts, fresh herbs, Worcestershire and tomato paste all go into the making of a perfect, classic burger.
I even tested three separate batches until I got them right. My goal was to have a burger that didn’t just taste amazing but also one that held together really well and the third time was a charm. They are nice and firm and full of flavor.
I did use eggs so the recipe is not vegan, and I’m not sure that substitutions would work the same, but I’ll make a fourth batch at some point and letcha know. Or if you give it a try then please let me know!
As far as the toppings go, allow me to highly recommend pickles. I don’t know what it is but ugh…‘tis good stuff mon.
So go ahead, grab ye some lentils and get to cookin’!
2 and 1/2 cups cooked green lentils (1 cup dry)
1 cup finely chopped carrots (approximately 2-3 large carrots)
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (approximately 1 small onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped sunflower seeds
1/4 cup golden flax meal
1/4 cup flour (I used brown rice flour)
1 cup whole grain or gluten-free bread crumbs
2 whole eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1T dry)
2 tablespoons fresh oregano (or 1T dry)
1 teaspoon paprika
salt & pepper to taste
suggested toppings: pickles, red onion, tomato, mayo, ketchup, mustard, sriracha
- Using a food processor, finely chop the onion, carrots, garlic, walnuts and sunflower seeds then transfer to a large bowl. I prefer to process each ingredient individually to achieve the best texture.
- Next add the cooked lentils to the food processor and pulse until they appear slightly pureed, then transfer them to the bowl as well. *Be careful not to over process the lentils. You don’t want them to turn to mush--there should still be some shape to at least half of them. See picture in the post as an example.
- Once you have all of the vegetables, lentils, nuts and seeds in the bowl, add the breadcrumbs, herbs/paprika/salt&pepper, and the flax meal then stir everything together.
- In a small bowl, combine the beaten eggs with the tomato paste and the Worcestershire. Pour the egg mixture into the bowl with vegetables and lentils and stir together. Sprinkle in the flour a little at a time as you continue to stir. If the mixture seems too wet, add more flour as needed.
- Form eight individual patties with your hands, making sure to keep them somewhat flat with rounded edges. They will hold together better if they aren’t too thick or too big.
- At this point you can refrigerate them until you are ready to cook (for up to 2-3 days) or cook them right away.
- When you’re ready to cook them, start by warming the olive oil over medium-heat in a skillet for at least five minutes. Once the skillet is thoroughly heated, cook the burgers on each side for about 5-6 minutes. I like the push the edges of the burger to the side of the pan as I cook them to make sure they are cooked on the sides as well.
- Serve on a warm bun with desired toppings and dig in!
Time does not include soaking and cooking lentils.