There are a lot of adequate-to-awful bean burgers out there. I know, because I’ve made a whole lot of them. I’ve tried the ones that are a ton of work, and those that are fast and easy. But there are few that had that crave-worthy flavor and just the right texture that I’d make twice.
I am happy to say I have finally found it: a lentil burger easy — and delicious — enough to make time and time again. As it happens, these also freeze quite nicely, which is why this recipe makes 8 rather than 4 patties. (By all means, cut the recipe in half if you prefer.)
I choose to top this one with basil aioli — which is a fancy way of saying I puréed a bunch of basil, a garlic clove, a squeeze of lime and some mayo and spooned it over each burger. Heat-seekers might want to go pink: add sriracha to the mayo instead.
Lentil Sweet Potato Burger
1 large (1 pound) sweet potato, peeled and cut in chunks
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound mushrooms, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15-ounce) cans lentils, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon lime zest
1. Cover potato chunks with water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, about 15 — 16 minutes. Alternatively, place chunks in the microwave, cover loosely with a damp cloth and microwave until tender. Mash the chunks with a fork.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high; add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook until they release their liquid, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are nicely browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Combine the mushroom mixture in a bowl with the mashed sweet potato, lentils, breadcrumbs, egg, tomato paste, ancho chili powder, cumin, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and the lime zest. Wet your hands and form into 8 patties, making each about 1-inch thick.
4. Wipe out the skillet and add 2 tablespoons olive oil; heat over medium. Add four patties and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until browned on the underside. Carefully flip the patties over and cook another 4 to 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the last 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining patties.
Makes 8 servings