Lentil Almond Burger
This super scrumptious burger comes from the editors of Eating Well magazine; the addition of lentils is lovely.
6 cups water
1 cup brown lentils or green French lentils (see note)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 medium)
1/3 cup finely chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten (or flaxseed substitute)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in lentils, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until very tender and beginning to break down, about 25 minutes for brown lentils or 30 minutes for green lentils. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrot, shallots and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add almonds, thyme, salt and pepper; continue cooking until the almonds are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor; add 1 cup of the cooked lentils. Pulse several times, scraping down the sides once or twice, until the mixture is coarsely ground.
3. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in the remaining lentils. Let cool for 10 minutes. Mix in egg yolk (or flaxseed) and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Form the lentil mixture into 5 patties. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn gently and continue to cook until lightly browned and heated through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve immediately, or allow to cool then freeze.
Note: French green lentils are smaller and firmer than brown lentils. They cook more quickly, too, in about 20 minutes. They can be found in natural-foods stores and some larger supermarkets.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burger
This recipes is adapted from one in the great vegan cookbook, ExtraVeganZa by Laura Matthias (New Society Publishers, 2006)–hats off to Laura for scheming this one up…black beans, sweet potatoes, almond butter and olives? Smart, smart, smart.
2 cups cooked or canned black beans
1 cup sweet potato, grated
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup Sicilian olives, diced
1/4 cup whole spelt flour or other flour
2 tablespoons tamari
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1. Drain and rinse the black beans, place them in a medium bowl, and mash. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
2. Scoop 1/3 cup of batter at a time to form individual burger patties. Place a cast-iron frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Add a bit of oil to the pan and place a few burger patties in the oil. Fry each burger for 7 to 10 minutes on one side, then flip them over and fry an additional 5 to 7 minutes on the other side, or until the centers of the burgers are cooked through. If they brown too quickly, just turn the heat down a bit to allow them to cook more slowly.
3. Serve hot, on their own or on burger buns with condiments of your choice.
Makes 10 to 12 burgers.