I have made this recipe many times already, and every time I made I liked it a lot! Although right now my favorite are the baked falafels, these are just as tasty and a great way to use the so delicious lentils!!
Yes, I like fruits, veggies, and all the grains!! Chickpeas and lentils are my favorites, along with white beans, oh so creamy white beans, but these are coming in another recipe on a following post. Today is the lentils’ day!
Smoked Cheddar and Lentil Burgers are very flavorful; I like the addition of sautéed onions and carrots (which I usually grate instead of chopping) and the smoked cheese helps in binding together the lentils while lending its particular smoky flavors to the patties. Yum.
These “burgers” are very tender and delicate; so you have to be a little gentle when flipping them over in the pan, also let it get a nice crust (without burning, of course!) on the bottom before you flip, it helps to hold the burger together. Also, I like to dredge the patties in breadcrumbs before pan-frying, it helps hold them together a little better, plus it adds a nice thin and crunchy crust to the outside. Oh, and I usually try to make the mixture a day in advance, and then the next day I form the patties (dredge in breadcrumbs) and cook them, I find the chilled mixture easier to work with.
The smoked cheddar gives a pronounced flavor and add a lot to the taste of these burgers, so if you can find it by any means use it, but if not available then regular cheddar makes a great substitute (I have done this before!).
I usually have these burgers in a plate accompanied by a salad and brown rice, but today Matheus insisted on having his on a bun, so we tried that. I have to say it didn’t work quite well as eating in a plate, with each bite the burger ended up being squished in between the bun and started to came out of the sides… not sure if it was just the burgers (they are a little soft), as Matheus was not very delicate while eating it either!
As a side we had a “Yellow Squash Carpaccio” that I put together right before lunch in a pinch: thinly slice the yellow squash and some onion, arrange them on a plate, sprinkle salt, pepper, chopped parsley and basil, drizzle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and enjoy!! It turned out very yummy!!
Smoked Cheddar and Lentil Burgers (CL June 2003)
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup dried lentils
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded smoked cheddar cheese
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
Place first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender; drain. Discard bay leaves. Place lentils in a large bowl; partially mash with a potato masher. Cool slightly.
Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.
Add onion mixture, cheese, and next 8 ingredients (cheese through egg whites) to lentils; stir well to combine. Cover and chill 45 minutes. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.
Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add half of patties, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining patties.
Yields: 8 burgers.