The classic version of these meatless burgers comes from Turkey, where cooked lentils are combined with fine bulgur to make the "meat" for the patties. I tend to have rice on hand more often, so I use that instead. Lightly wet your hands before shaping the patties; the water helps prevent the mixture from sticking to your skin. Serve cooked burgers on leaf lettuce if you wish, sprinkled with fresh herbs, and put out lemon wedges, a bowl of chopped cucumber, and a chile sauce or a creamy yogurt-based sauce as accompaniments. Cooked patties freeze well; reheat in the oven at 350° for 10 minutes or until heated.
1 cup dried small red lentils
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup diced English cucumber
6 lemon wedges
How to Make It
Rinse and drain lentils; place lentils and rice in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 3 inches above lentil mixture; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils and rice are tender. Drain.
Place lentil mixture in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Set aside (keep mixture in processor).
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add green onions to pan; cook 2 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomato paste and red pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add green onion mixture, 2 tablespoons cilantro, lemon juice, and salt to food processor; process until combined.
Divide mixture into 12 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 6 patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove cooked patties from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 6 patties. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro. Serve patties with cucumber and lemon wedges.
MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov
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