Okay, so maybe I picked lentils as the challenge ingredient partly because I have this great recipe for lentil burgers from ultra-runner Scott Jurek I wanted to share. There aren’t enough good veggie-burgers in the world and I would like to do my part to fix that unfortunate state of affairs. Soy protein has a time and a place, I’m sure, but it’s not on a bun at a BBQ.
I’ve tried several different recipes for homemade veggie burgers, using chickpeas or black beans, and while they were nothing to scoff at, these mushroom and lentil burgers trump them all, no question. Not only are they tasty and delicious and hold together better than other veggie burgers I’ve made, but the recipe makes a big batch so we’re able to freeze a bunch for another meal or two.
The RSBC cooking challenge isn’t the only thing that went well this week: I put in 6.7 miles this morning, bringing my running (<– no pun intended) total to 70 miles. That’s .3 miles short of the halfway mark, but I am hopeful that I can boost my mileage in the 2nd half of the month to finish with the full 140.6. Wish me luck!
Scott Jurek’s Mushroom-Lentil Burgers adapted from Runner’s World June 2012
1 cup dried green lentils
2¼ cups water
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed, and divided
1¼ cups finely chopped onion, divided
2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
½ cup ground flax seed (optional)
1 pound mushrooms (I use white button or cremini)
1½ cups kale, spinach, or winter greens, destemmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
In a small pot, bring lentils, water, parsley, 1 garlic clove, and ½ cup of onion to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 35 to 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft.
While the lentils are cooking, combine bread crumbs, and flax seed (if using) in a bowl. Add the salt, pepper, and paprika and mix well. Use a food processor to chop the mushrooms and greens into a fine chop.
Sauté the remaining onion, remaining garlic, the mushrooms, and the greens in the oil for 8 to 10 minutes, then set aside. Remove the lentils from the heat, add the vinegar and mustard, and mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon to a thick paste.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, sautéed veggies, and bread crumb mixture, and mix well. Cool in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes (or in the freezer for a few minutes).
Using your hands, form burger patties to your desired size and place on waxed paper. Lightly fry in a seasoned skillet, or broil or grill until lightly browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Extra uncooked patties can be frozen on wax paper in plastic bags or wrapped individually in aluminum foil.
Bring some to your next BBQ (which I’m sure you have scheduled for next week, when it’s supposed to be a balmy 44 degrees . . . ) and impress people with how good a real veggie burger can be.
ps I use this recipe for my buns. Can’t go back to store bought. These are so good and really easy.