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spiced curiosity | goat cheese sprouted lentil burgers
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goat cheese sprouted lentil burger

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

goat cheese sprouted lentil burgers

  • 6-8 cups water
  • 3/4 cup dried lentils
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)

I’ve fallen in love with sprouting. It’s so dang simple, and ridiculously easy.

sprouting

Pour some water over what-have-you, refrigerate overnight, rinse in the morning, and repeat. And then these cute green sprouts start sticking their head out, like the lima bean project you did in Kindergarten. (How did you do with that by the way? It seemed inspiring as a kid but a bit sad when every other plant I owned seemed to give up on life…Maybe that’s partially why fail-proof sprouting is so appealing…)

look at the little tails!

ready for the skillet!

Anyway, it’s a lot of fun, and a simple side project that adds cool science, Vitamin C, and crunchiness to any dish.

the cheese

look at that rainbow

On the wide-eyed wonder of green things, I would like to feature one raw dish a week. I was grateful to visit the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival this past weekend. There I got inspired (Ellen Jaffe Jones, the Veg Coach), intrigued (vegan marshmallows), and confused (vegan caviar?) — but mainly the first. I feel like jumping into a raw diet is pretty dang difficult, but enjoying one handmade concoction of such is enjoyable…and simple. So let’s see what happens!

About this dish, I think it’s a stellar vegetarian burger. What I mean is that it’s hearty, savory, and doesn’t even try to mimic meat. If you want a little more spice, I would up the garlic and Italian spices; if you want something a little sweeter, add half a cup of sweet corn and an additional carrot.

goes well with steamed broccoli

*Edit*
Deeply apologize. I forgot to source this recipe to Cara’s Cravings, which is a fantastic blog. This is the slightly adapted recipe.

Goat Cheese Sprouted Lentil Burgers

Option 1: Alright, so if you do choose to sprout the lentils (highly recommended!), pour both them and 2 cups water in a glass container. Snap on a lid, and let sit overnight (or 6-12 hours) in the refrigerator. The next day, rinse the beans thoroughly, and pour in two cups of fresh water. Soak, refrigerate, and then rinse again after 6-12 hours. Usually I start to see sprouts after a day and half, but don’t worry and keep soaking if they don’t appear just yet. Magic awaits.

Option 2: The other is to boil the lentils (still plenty tasty). Pour the beans, 2 cups of water, and dash of salt into a small pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain the water (or save for another dish later).

Now that your vibrant lil’ beans are ready, prep the vegetables: dice the onions, mince the garlic, and grate the carrot. Heat the teaspoon of oil in a skillet of medium-low heat, then toss in the three vegetables (I have a loose interpretation of veggies…do you think garlic counts?). Saute until soft, about five minutes. Add in a little water if the skillet gets dry. Now evenly coat with the balsamic vinegar, increasing the heat to let it reduce (i.e. thicken).

The goat cheese I splurged on was delicious, but harder than what the original recipe called for…So if yours is the same, I’d lightly soften it on a skillet for a minute.

Pour the lentils, cooked veggies, and remaining ingredients into a food processor, and pulse until combined. Occasionally scrape down the sides with a spatula. (I prefer chunkier texture, so I pulse it only for a few minutes.) When mixed to your choice consistency, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least half an hour (or overnight, if you can wait long enough!). If it makes you feel better, this step solidifies the patty mix and melds the flavors. The longer you wait the better.

Heat up 1/2 a cup of water in a skillet over medium-high heat. Form 3-inch balls of the mixture, and one by one cook them in the skillet. It takes a little trial and error, but I found they brown nicely if you let each side sit for about 4 minutes. (Like pancakes, you can tell they need to flipped when the bottom of the sides start to brown.)

Scoop onto a plate, dice up some onions and tomatoes, and serve on toasted bread with fresh spinach. Enjoy!

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