Last night was a good night for burgers. Of course, my husband would ask when isn't it a good night for burgers? I like Gardenburgers quite a bit, but haven't seen the original version available for a while. They carried giant boxes of them at my local Costco six months or so ago, but none since. So I've been making my own veggie burgers at home. Most often I use beans such as chickpeas, but last night I used lentils. And it was good!
I find many restaurant veggie patties to be mushy, so be sure to make these on the thinner side so that everything cooks and you get a higher ratio of crispy outside to softer inside.
Makes 6 patties
By Mark Bittman
2 cups cooked lentils
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon chili powder
Salt and pepper
Put all ingredients in a food processor (feel free to add other seasonings such as garlic or fresh herbs, and even toss in some shredded cheese if you like). Pulse until its all mixed together, but not pureed. You want to keep some lumps in there for texture. Let rest 10 minutes or so, then shape patties with wet hands to keep the lentil mixture from sticking to you too much. At this point you can cook them however you like. If you want to use a pan I would suggest freezing them for a bit to help the patties retain their shape and not fall apart while cooking, and cook/fry until nicely browned. This time, however, I cooked mine on the BBQ.
I sprayed a sheet of foil with cooking spray, and then put the whole thing over a relatively high flame. After about ten minutes I flipped them over and cooked for another eight minutes. I used foil because these burgers would not fare well on the grate. I did get some lovely char lines, even through the foil, and a nice smoky taste (maybe because I need to clean my BBQ and the accumulation of burned food bits on the bottom smoke when I use it).
Then serve as you would any other burger and with the toppings of your choice. We opted to forgo the usual bun/lettuce/tomato/etc. this time and had the lentil burgers simply on a plate with a thick slice or two of sharp white cheddar, and a side of broccoli that was out of this world (I'll share in a day or two, promise!).