So here's the story.
Just days before Christmas one year way way back, my big Cuisinart food processor gave up the ghost. Quit. Failed. Died. Went kaput. And I panicked! How would I cook without a food processor?! I know, I know. #FirstWorldProblems. My mom and I trekked from one Christmas-packed mall to another to seek out a mini Cuisinart, the little prep food processor.
But that little guy was completely unimpressive. I couldn't figure out why Cuisinart would attach its name to a
Fast Forward. Somehow I came to own another mini food prep device, call it a "mini food processor", if you will. It's still not in the same class as the big Cuisinart but both are welcome and much-used in my kitchen. I bring this up because, well, if you have a mini food processor, it'll be put to good use with this recipe! Go dig it out!
RECIPE for FALAFEL BURGERS (LENTIL BURGERS)
Time to table: 90 minutes
Makes 8 burgers
1-1/4 cups (233g) lentils, rinsed
2 teaspoons table salt
Water to cover plus two inches
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon table salt
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 large egg, beaten lightly with a fork
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons Oat Flour-Garlic mixture
Salt & pepper to taste
Remaining Oat Flour, for coating
YOGURT MINT SAUCE
1/2 cup Greek yogurt, thinned with a little buttermilk
1/3 cup fresh chopped mint
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil, to fry
Lemon wedges, to squeeze over the burgers
Fresh mint leaves, to garnish
COOK & MASH THE LENTILS Bring the lentils, salt and water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and let simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Don't undercook the lentils, they must be quite soft to mash. Drain the lentils and return to the hot pan. Use a potato masher to mash the lentils to a smooth, well, lentil mush.
[Dish-wise, if you'd like to use the food processor for the fresh mint, do it now, before the oats. That way, you won't need to wash it before doing the oats.]
GRIND THE OATS In a mini food processor, grind the oats and salt until the oats become a fine oat flour. Set aside all but 3 tablespoons of the Oat Flour; put it into a large flat bowl, you'll use it to coat the burgers. Add the garlic to the 3 tablespoons of Oat Flour and process again until the garlic is finely minced.
FORM THE BURGERS In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients. With your hands, form 1/3-cup flat-ish patties. Working carefully with the delicate burgers, coat the tops and bottoms of the burgers with the remaining Oat Flour, then arrange on a plate or baking sheet, anything flat. Refrigerate the burgers, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes.
MAKE YOGURT MINT SAUCE Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.
TO SERVE In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil on medium heat until shimmery. Add the burgers and cook until firm and crisp on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve hot with Yogurt Mint Sauce, with lemon wedges and mint leaves on the side.
MAKE-AHEAD TIPS Mix the burgers and the Yogurt Mint Sauce a day or two ahead of time, then fry the burgers just before serving.
LEFTOVERS The cooked burgers reheat beautifully, just a minute or so in the microwave.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
LENTILS Green? Brown? Black? Rainbow? :-) I used green lentils and think that all the colors/varieties would work though the cooking time may vary.
LENTILS NOT COOKING? It happens. Here's why. Why Dried Beans Won't Cook. I'm sorry, there's really no fixing this except carryout pizza.
FORMING THE BURGERS The burger mix is quite soft, not impossible to work with but smaller burgers are definitely easier to keep together than larger burgers. The mixture does firm up in the fridge so if you've got time, you could refrigerate it for 30 minutes or so before forming the burgers.
NO FOOD PROCESSOR TO GRIND THE OAT FLOUR? No problem. Just substitute something like soda crackers or another cracker and crush/grind them in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or even your hands.
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MORE FAVORITE BURGER RECIPES~ Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce ~
~ Homemade Black Bean Burgers ~
~ Spinach Burgers ~
~ more veggie burgers ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Chicken Burgers with Fresh Spinach, Feta and Garden Tzatziki Sauce ~
~ Green Chili Burgers ~
~ Jerusalem Turkey Burgers with Zucchini ~
~ more burger recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
SEASONAL EATING: THIS SAME WEEK ACROSS THE YEARSCauliflower-Broccoli Cheddar Horseradish Gratin Roasted Parsnips with Pine Nuts Cream of Celery Soup Fragrant Roasted Beets Beet & Walnut Salad Zucchini Lemon-Honey Salad Zucchini Moons with Mint & Parsley Microwave Green Beans with Tomatillo Salsa Dressing Green Chutney Reuben Casserole (< leftover corned beef?) Carrot Cake Cupcakes Roasted Broccoli with Lemon & Garlic Sushi Salad Crustless Quiche with Roasted Peppers (< this week's healthy favorite!) Cauliflower Hummus Creamy Spinach with Artichokes (< a great choice for Easter!)
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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