Do you know what’s cool about getting older? Besides losing the acne and stinky feet, I can now buy amazing shea butter. I can light candles in my room. I can drink gin and tonics. . .whenever I want. Weekends are for fun and not group projects. Hey wait, weeknights are for fun, too.
Don’t get me wrong, with age comes allergies and lactose intolerance – two ailments I’ve whole-heartedly ignored – but I’ve been waiting for my twentysomethings since before I was a teenager.
Easily the best thing about getting older is that I’ve gotten better. Not at everything, because I will always be bad at opening doors and proper word usage, but just about all the things I care to get better at, I have.
Like cooking. And photography.
I once tried making lentil walnut burgers last year from my trusty Moosewood Cookbook, but made such a mess of it that I had to throw it out. I burned the lentils. I put the burnt lentil walnut mixture straight on the grill and it, amazingly, fell straight through the rack. Duh, right? Any peabrain could have seen that coming.
But round two yielded brilliant results. My recipe wins!
I made these breadcrumbs with the exorbitant amount of bread in the freezer. I toasted 3 slices to get them really dry and threw them in the food processor until they were crummy. Honey whole wheat beauty.
Did I mention getting to drink whenever I want? Why yes, that is a Harpoon Cider. And yes, that’s also kim chee topping the burger. And arugula. And provolone. And spicy brown mustard. But Mimi, you may ask, don’t those toppings overwhelm the flavor of the beany burger?
Nope. The burger is delicious and pronounced with whatever you choose to slap on.
1 1/4 cup lentils
3 cups water, salted
1 medium chopped onion
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup breadcrumbs (if not homemade, Japanese Panko works best)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons butter
pepper, to taste
spicy brown mustard
Cook the lentils in the water until lentils are soft, about half an hour, then drain. While the lentils are cooking, saute the onion and carrots with olive oil in a large pan until onion is translucent.
Add mushrooms, breadcrumbs, salt, oregano, and chili and cook until the breadcrumbs have absorbed most of the oils and mushroom juices. Add lentils and cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add butter, letting it melt completely before cooling for about 30 minutes.
Once the mixture has cooled, add the egg and mix throughout. The egg will help make more solid patties.
With a 1/2 measuring cup, create rounded patties to be fried on a medium-high-heated skillet. When placing the patties on the skillet, use a slated spatula to create the grill marks you’re missing out on. Flip once one side is crispy, then add a slice of cheese.
Dress however you please. Drink however you please.
Makes 6 patties.