July 29, 2010

Moosewood Cookbook's Lentil Walnut Burgers

I had fun making dinner last night. My baby (who is still sick) was napping, and the two older kids were playing together, so I decided to whip out my camera and document my cooking of the meal. So here it is:

Moosewood Cookbook's Lentil-Walnut Burgers Step by Step

First, put 3/4 cup dry lentils and 1 1/2 cups water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Put a lid on loosely, and simmer over lower heat for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the water is gone.

And make sure you give the lentils a good rinse and look through first. Sometimes I find little pebbles in my dried beans and lentils.

Here are the other ingredients you'll need: An onion (enough to equal 1 cup, minced), about 10 mushrooms, and about 4 or 5 cloves of garlic.

Mince them all finely.

A food processor would really come in handy at this point. But if you don't have one, just do it the hard way like I did. You may just find that chopping vegetables to tiny bits with a large knife helps to relieve stress.

That sounds kind of scary. I'm really not a knife wielding psycho... promise.

Now heat about a tablespoon of oil in a pan and toss your onions in. Cook them for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, realize that you forgot one of the ingredients - walnuts, and finely mince a 1/2 cup of them.

If you're like me, and it takes you longer than 5 minutes to mince a 1/2 cup of walnuts (again... food processor), pause to toss the rest of your vegetables into the pan.

Go back to your walnuts and keep mincing.

Give up on the walnuts and switch to stirring the vegetables. That's much easier.

Now throw in a teaspoon of dry mustard, some salt and pepper, and those dang walnuts.

While the vegetables finish cooking, dump the lentils (which are done by now, hopefully) into a bowl and add a couple tablespoons of cider vinegar. Then mash them up (need I say 'food processor' again).

Pause to mitigate the smack-down that is occurring in the playroom.

Now come back to the kitchen, notice the freshly baked bread sitting on the counter and think about a nice, quiet place where exists just you, the bread, and a jar of Nutella (or butter and honey, if you prefer).

Sidenote: Nutella takes up more space on the store shelves than peanut butter here in Germany. 

Snap out if it and go back to mashing your lentils. 

Decide that they are mashed enough already (sheesh), and mix in everything from the pan, as well as a 1/2 cup of bread crumbs or wheat germ (I used wheat germ).

That looks...um... yummy.

Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Oh, wait... I live in Germany. My fridge is tiny. And it's full.

Or not. I know from personal experience that it's okay if you don't refrigerate the mixture. However, the burgers are a little crumbly and maybe refrigerating them would make them stick together better. It also probably helps to not give up on mincing and mashing so quickly. Or to use a food processor, which would be nice to have. I wonder if the Man will read this?

After the mixture has been refrigerated (or not), form patties and either fry them in some oil or broil in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes on each side. I used the broiler method. Either way, cook them until they are crispy on the outside.

While you wait for them to cook, accidentally notice the mess you have made. 

Pretend you didn't and go back to thinking about the fresh bread.

You can melt some cheese on them during the last few minutes of cooking. I know, that's not nearly  enough cheese.

Then serve them however you want. We ate ours bun-less, on a plate with some lettuce and sliced tomatoes. I put some mustard on mine, and the man had some steak sauce on his. The kids took one bite and then wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot pole. But don't let that dissuade you. They're actually pretty tasty.

And just for your information, you can wrap the uncooked patties individually and put them in the fridge for a few days before cooking, or freeze them. Just defrost before you cook them.

Thanks for joining me on my dinner making journey of yesterday.


  1. Um...I'm sure your heart was in the right place but...

    Well, Josh would definately love it--I can promise you that! :)

    Actually, I have no doubt that your lentil burgers were very tasty. You are probably the only person I know who could make them that way.

  2. Kids who like rice wrapped in seaweed as much as candy didn't like those?!!! Go figure!