I was reading Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run last month and this lentil burger recipe caught my attention. Been wanting to try this for a while and finally found some time this past weekend to experiment with it. I made some slight mods to his lentil burger recipe since I didn’t have all the ingredients at home, but boy oh boy, it came out amazingly tasty. I broke out the ingredients into three chunks which I call the Boil, the Mix and the Sauté. While there are some shared ingredients, I found that breaking them apart helped me organize the cooking process better.
Lentil Burger: The Boil
- 1 cup dried green lentils
- 2 ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp dried parsley (freshly diced works better!)
- 1 garlic clove diced
- ¼ cup diced onions
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
I soaked the lentils for about 45 minutes in 4 cups of water before I cooked them, but lentils do cook pretty fast. So you might be okay cooking them directly. Dunk the ingredients (except the vinegar and mustard) into a small pot, bring it to a boil and then simmer for the next 45 minutes (stirring occasionally) or so until the water is mostly absorbed and the lentils are soft. Make sure you leave a little moisture in the boil which you will need when you mix with the rest of the ingredients. Add in the vinegar and the mustard and mash the boil with a wooden spoon into a thick paste. Cool in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.
Lentil Burger: The Mix
- ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 cup fine bread crumbs
- 1 cup Masa Harina
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
The original recipe calls for flax seed and I didn’t have any at home. So I added a couple of teaspoons of Chia seeds to the mix. Mix all the ingredients into a bowl and set aside. To make bread crumbs, I toasted a couple of slices of Dave’s Killer Bread (my kids love this!) at 450°F in a toaster oven, cut them into small pieces and chopped them in a food processor.
Lentil Burger: The Sauté
- 3 cups diced cremini mushrooms
- 1 ½ cups chopped spinach (or kale or mixed greens)
- 2 garlic cloves diced
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Add in the onions and garlic first and sauté for about 5 minutes in low heat. Then add mushrooms and the greens and cook for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked fully. I was a little surprised how sticky this mixture turned out to be. When I make Quinoa Croquettes, I usually end up using Red Mill’s Egg Replacer as the binding agent. Good to know that mushrooms have a similar role to play.
Lentil Burger: The Finale
Now that you have the Boil, the Mix and the Sauté, combine all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix them thoroughly. Using your hands, form burger patties of the desired size. Lightly fry in a seasoned skillet or grill until lightly browned and crisp. a few minutes on each side. You get about 10 to 12 medium sized burgers with these proportions. One thing is clear. Scott Jurek is absolutely right when he says that these lentil burgers come out juicy. Loaded with protein and essential carbs, this burger is an amazing running companion. I’m seriously thinking of taking these on my runs instead of just Clif Shots. You know the best part of this lentil burger recipe? I know exactly what went into it. More importantly I know for a fact that it contains no soy protein isolate, MSG, preservatives, artificial colors, natural flavors and other nasty stuff that most veggie burgers have. Though, I did underestimate the time it takes for the Lentil to cook fully. But you can make a big batch and freeze these lentil burgers.
Have you tried making lentil burgers? What tweaks would you suggest to this recipe?
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