Thursday, 9 February 2017


Healthy, dirty lentil burger.

I know that nowadays there are numerous burger places with hand reared, home made options but to be really honest, I’ve never been a huge burger fan, unlike the rest of my family. Mainly because I don't like huge chunks of unidentified meat, however I do like the whole layering, the combination of different flavours and textures that you get with a good rustic burger.

Over the last few years Teen V and I struggled to find tasty vegetarian burgers. We tried lots of gloopy bean burgers, and tasteless cardboard-like veggie things, but nothing came close to replicating that juicy, tasty feel you get with a proper handmade meat burger! OK so I do like a proper one occasionally! We got very fed up with mushed vegetables, pretending to be a burger…really? 

I’ve experimented with a variety of options, but the most interesting is the lentil burger… Bare with me here, I know lentils don't sound like a good alternative, however, even the traditional meat eating burger lovers in the family have approved this alternative!!

So maybe you don't like the sound of a wholesome burger, just trust me, these are good and don't feel like a second best.

Lentil, sun-dried tomato and watercress burgers warming with ciabatta rolls


Prep time and cooking time 35 minutes
Chilling time 15 minutes
Serves 3-4 depending on the size burger you want! 
The mixture can be doubled easily for a crowd- or v hungry family.

120g puy lentils
1/2 medium sized onion
2 cloves of garlic
20g sun-dried tomatoes 
1Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano 
300ml good vegetable stock 
20g watercress
1/2 Packet of mozzarella
1tbsp wholemeal plain flour

I like Ciabatta rolls, but if you want to be hip, use brioche buns, I think the crisp crust of the ciabatta works better. Then just add any other bits you like to build up your perfect burger. 
A few suggestions are: Slices of tomato, lettuce if you can actually find some..see my previous post re lettuce shortage!!or watercress if you are being really healthy, mayonnaise, slices of avocado, gerkin, cheese - the list is endless..

  1. Finely chop the garlic and onions, then fry in the olive oil in a saucepan for about 5 minutes or until soft. 
  2. Slice, or snip up with scissors, the sun-dried tomatoes and add them and the oregano to the pan to soften for a few minutes.
  3. Add the dried lentils and stir for about a minute until coated in the mixture then add a third of the stock and simmer. Keep adding the remaining stock as it reduces down and the lentils cook. This process should take about 25 minutes. Whilst this is cooking roughly chop the watercress and mozzarella and leave for later.
  4. Try the lentils to ensure they are soft and cooked, they should have a rich dense flavour and have soaked up all the liquid. Obviously don't let them burn, but it is important that there isn't any liquid left as it’ll be harder to keep the burger shape later. Let them cool for a few minutes.
  5. Add the watercress and mozzarella to the mixture and stir in well. Stir in the flour, this should help keep the mixture together. At this point you can shape the mixture into rough patty, burger shapes. I would put them on baking paper and let them cool a bit in the fridge.  
  6. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large frying pan and then gently place the patties to fry for a couple of minutes on each side. Whilst this is happening prepare your bun. I only like half a bun but I appreciate this is light weight, so obviously prepare what you need. If you have a griddle then lightly grease and warm the bun then start to assemble your dream burger, mine includes mayonnaise, avocado, watercress and tomato…yum…get creative!

Lentil burger with topped with avocado, tomato and watercress

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