Sunday, March 04, 2007

Red Lentil-Chickpea Burgers

This recipe was reviewed very highly on the CLBB. It was originally from a cookbook called The Healthy Hedonist, which I might need to consider purchasing! I have been looking for a way to use up the rest of the bag of red lentils that I'd bought for the Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew a long time ago, so this seemed like a good recipe to use them up.

I didn't make any changes to the recipe, though I did heed two pieces of advice that were posted on the boards along with the recipe, which were: mash the chickpeas a little bit before adding the lentils, and cook the patties for longer than 4 minutes because they won't cook through that quickly.

I LOVED this recipe!!! The peanut sauce is phenomenal and really makes the dish. It is a time consuming recipe, but it's worth it because it's so tasty. I will definitely try to make this again.

Red Lentil-Chickpea Burgers

3/4 cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 3/4 cups water
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for sautéing
1/2 cup minced shallots
3/4 pound carrots, cut into small dice (1 cup)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
6 whole wheat pita breads
Shredded romaine lettuce
Chopped fresh tomatoes
Spicy Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)

Combine the lentils and the water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. The lentils should lose their individual shape and cook into one mass. Cook them as dry as possible as they can go without sticking. Stir the cooked lentils with a spoon to break them up, and pour them into a medium bowl. Stir in the chickpeas.

Warm the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, carrots, and 1/4 tsp salt, and cook until the carrots are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, and peas, and cook until the peas are tender, 2 minutes. Stir the vegetables into the lentils along with the parsley, lemon juice, and cayenne. Stir in the bread crumbs. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or until it is cool enought to handle.

Using your hands, form the lentils into 6 tight patties and place them on a plate. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until very firm, at least 30 minutes.

Sauté the burgers: Warm a Tbsp of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers (these burgers are a bit delicate so do not crowd the pan). Sauté until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn the burgers over and sauté on the other side until golden, 2 minutes. Serve each burger in a pita with Spicy Peanut Sauce, topped with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes.

Yield: 6 burgers

Spicy Peanut Sauce
Makes 3/4 cup

1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp thinly sliced scallions or chives

Combine everything except the scallions in a blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the scallions. Store covered and refrigerated.

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