This is the veggie burger that we served at the market dinner for our meat-avoiding friends. I wanted a burger that provided the same earthy, umami-laden satisfaction as a beef burger, and wasn’t crumbly or too mushy. This one did the trick. You could also serve this sans bun with a spicy salsa on top. I served it topped with melted aged cheddar on toasted ciabatta that was schmeared with lemon aioli. Tasty and super healthy, this burger is a keeper and would even survive on the grill.
makes 8 burgers
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dried lentils
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 cup cooked pearl barley
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1. To prepare burgers, combine 1 1/2 cups water and lentils in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain. Place half of lentils in a large bowl. Place remaining lentils in a food processor; process until smooth. Add processed lentils to whole lentils in bowl.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and carrot; sauté 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add onion mixture to lentils. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, barley, and next 5 ingredients (through egg); stir well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
3. Divide mixture into 8 portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and 4 patties. Serve on toasted ciabatta with lemon aioli and arugula.