In a world where “veggie burger” means a flattened block of soy protein, studded with carrots and peas whose flavor is thankfully masked with ketchup, mustard and lots of relish, it doesn’t take a lot to build a better burger. All you really need to make a delicious, homemade one is a can of beans, some eggs, and rolled oats or breadcrumbs. The good news is that you probably have most, if not all, of these ingredients at home. Add some different spices and fresh herbs, and the burgers can be flavored in a variety of ways. My favorite one starts with lentils, fresh cilantro and ginger, and is topped with melted Jarlsberg cheese. Check out my recipe featured on Good Bite! If you are looking for more ingredient and preparation ideas for burgers, check out a recent blog post in The New York Times “The Burger Experience Without Beef”.
Baked Lentil Cheese Burgers
MAKES: 4 to 6 servings
TIME: 20 minutes
One 14-ounce can of lentils, drained (feel free to use a different kind of cooked bean)
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon chile powder (less or more depending on how spicey you want it)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon crushed fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt (less or more depending on how salty you want it)
1 teaspoon sugar in the raw or brown sugar
freshly ground black pepper
grapeseed oil spray (or any neutral oil)
1 tomato, sliced
black sesame seeds
regular or lite Jarlsberg cheese, sliced
onion sandwich rolls
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with the oil.
2. Combine the lentils, onion, oats, ginger, cilantro, spices, salt, pepper and sugar in a food processor and pulse until chunky. You want a mixture that is moist but not wet.
3. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes, then shape into patties.
4. Bake the burgers until they are deeply brown, about 8 – 10 minutes. Then flip and bake for 8 – 10 more minutes.
5. Serve with melted Jarlsberg cheese and sliced tomato on a toasted onion roll.