I’m always looking for new vegetarian dishes to make during the week, and as soon as I saw these burgers Cara made, which include both lentils (yum) and goat cheese (love), we were in business.
Lentils are a great option for going meatless, because they are hearty and have a nice dose of protein, too. I did make some changes to the original recipe (of course). I had about 2-3 oz. of mushrooms in the fridge, and a leek that was supposed to be devoted to a dish that never got made. Both of those got thrown into the burgers, and were welcome additions. I didn’t have Italian seasoning and I don’t use egg substitutes, so I adjusted those ingredients accordingly. The mushrooms contributed a little extra moisture, so I upped the amount of panko so the burgers wouldn’t fall apart (although, I will admit that one of them was still a casualty; sorry, husband.)
Though I’m not much of a condiment kinda gal, I do like them with burgers and next time I think I’d add a roasted red pepper relish or perhaps a sundried tomato ketchup to these burgers.
My only complaint about these was purely user error on my part, and that was undersalting them. Typically, I am more heavy-handed with salt than anything but this time around I was a bit shy and it was evident. If I were a Top Chef contestant, I would have had to pack my knives and GO!
These burgers cook up in no time, but do benefit from being refrigerated for a while so the flavors can meld and they are easier to shape. I made the mixture the night before we had these so dinner took me about 10 minutes the day of. Can’t beat that!
Lentil Goat Cheese Burgers
Adapted from Cara’s Cravings
3/4 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 leek, sliced
1/3 cup diced onion
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, grated
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 oz. goat cheese
6 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. thyme
Place lentils in a saucepan with water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the lentils and remove the bay leaf.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions, mushrooms, garlic, and carrot for about 5 or 6 minutes or until softened. Add balsamic vinegar, increase the heat, and let the vinegar reduce.
Combine the lentils, sauteed vegetables and remaining ingredients in a food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pulse several times to combine.
Place the mixture in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate 45 minutes or overnight. Divide the mixture into 4 patties.
Heat the remaining 1 tsp. olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium. Place the patties in the skillet and cook for about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.