Greek Lentil Burgers with Lemony Herb Broccoli
My goal this summer is to make as many different veggie burgers as possible. Like, as many as possible. Now that I’ve generally gotten the hang of this cooking thing, I’m much more interested in experimenting with different flavors and ingredient combinations and trying things that are brand new. Veggie burgers are still pretty novel to me (you can check out my first successful one here), so any time I make a good one, I’m always a bit surprised.
My genius husband Ed came up with this recipe for Greek Lentil Burgers. We were having his parents over to our house for Mother’s Day and were preparing the filling for Spanakopita; Ed tasted the filling, made an “mmm” face and said, “that would be great on a burger.” I suggested making the filling into a burger by mixing it with smashed lentils, and boom—it actually worked!
1 - 10 oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed
5 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 c. low fat ricotta cheese
1 yellow onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 T. fresh dill
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
2 t. lemon zest
1 t. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 c. brown lentils, cooked
1/2 t. red wine vinegar
1 t. sesame oil
1/2 T. butter
Buns (we used King’s Hawaiian slider buns)
Greek dressing (we buy a bottle of it from Zoe’s Kitchen)
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the broccoli with 1/2 c. Greek dressing and the 2 t. lemon zest. Bake for 30 minutes, toss, then bake another 30 minutes.
2) While the broccoli is roasting, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the lentils according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3) If your spinach isn’t fully thawed, then defrost it a bit in the microwave. When it’s ready to handle, try to get as much moisture out of it as possible with a cheesecloth or a paper towel.
4) Add the onion and garlic to a skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the onion just starts to become translucent. Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes more until all moisture has evaporated.
5) Add the feta, ricotta, lentils, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar and spinach mixture to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Use a fork to mash the lentils and combine the mixture. Form the mixture into slider-sized patties (should yield 6 or 7).
6) Add a teaspoon of sesame oil to a pan and crank it up to the highest heat possible. Add the patties to the pan and cook for three minutes. Flip the patties and cook another three minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high and flip again, this time adding 1/2 T. butter to the pan and cooking for two minutes. Flip the patties one more time and cook for another two minutes (you’ll have cooked the patties for 10 minutes total).
7) In a bowl, combine the sour cream or yogurt with the fresh dill and add 1 T. Greek dressing. Stir well to combine.
8) We have a gas oven. so we buttered the buns and toasted them. Prepare the buns however you’d like and assemble the burgers, topping them with the sour cream/Greek yogurt sauce and serving them with the broccoli.