JULY 6, 2018

Weeknight Cooking: Red Lentil Burger

More and more I lean toward red lentils as a hearty red meat alternative.  

It might be impossible to ever replace the reality of the well executed beef burger (our own grocery store has recently picked up a very good grass fed beef brand which, with very little manipulation, were truly notches above any other beef source we’ve had in years), but it doesn’t seem a bad idea to try.  

In fact, this red lentil recipe ends up carrying what I would describe as a more dynamic all around texture than its beef counterpart: carrot, onion, panko, and cilantro (optional for us anyway), are all added.  

Red lentils make a delicious alternative to your traditional meat burger.

The recipe calls to pick through, rinse and boil the red lentils, setting them aside and mix later into a sautéed pan full of onion, one finely diced carrot, garlic and cumin.  

Add to this, for the sake of adhesion and texture, 1/2 cup of whole-wheat panko bread crumbs, an egg and the cilantro.  Create patties and refrigerate in order to cool the recently cooked lentils and allow a shape to seal.  

Cook the patties around 4 minutes per side – a fairly quick deep brown forms to something quite like the look of a good hash brown.


Add onto a favorite style of bun a combination of greek yogurt mixture – a dash of lemon, more cilantro if desired, salt and pepper – then land on a bed of spring greens.  

Greek yogurt sauce with herbs, ready to top off our burger.

As I tasted my own prepared yogurt sauce I felt it was a bit plain, so also added a pre-prepared dollop of edamame and red bell pepper hummus, which matched very nicely the earthy qualities of red lentil burger.  

The overall burger is quite flavorful and healthy.  The brief introduction to this particular recipe sums up the use of the red lentil in such a way that makes these burgers a worthwhile investment, “Red lentils are coveted for their relatively quick cooking time, high levels of cholesterol-lowering fiber, energy-providing iron and fueling protein.”