Black beluga lentil and mushroom vege burgers
( MAKES 6 burgers )
Photo by Tam West
The deep savoury flavour of these burger patties is layered against vine ripe tomatoes, pickles, ruby red kraut, and that all important melty cheese (vegan style). The patty took me a few goes to get right. I tried out different beans and lentils — beluga gives a hearty flavour and texture.
To add that deep savoury umami flavour often missing from vege burgers I added miso, tamari and a few drops of liquid smoke. If you find your burgers are not holding together as much as you would like, add an additional 2 tablespoons of the oat flour or a few tablespoons of gluten-free breadcrumbs. I preferred the flavour and texture of the recipe as is, but if you like a firm patty, add more oats or bread crumbs.
For the patties
|1 cup||Black beluga lentils|
|½||Red onion, finely diced|
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil, for cooking the onion and the mushrooms|
|2½ cups||Swiss brown mushrooms, diced|
|2||Garlic cloves, crushed|
|1 Tbsp||Apple cider vinegar|
|½ cup||Oat flour, or ground sunflower seeds|
|2 sprigs||Thyme, finely chopped|
|½ sprig||Rosemary, finely chopped|
|3||Sage leaves, use up to 4, finely chopped|
|2 Tbsp||Wholegrain mustard|
|1 Tbsp||White miso paste, heaped|
|6 drops||Liquid smoke|
|1 Tbsp||Olive oil, or hemp oil|
|1 dash||Neutral oil, such as sunflower, for cooking|
For the burgers
|6 slices||Vegan cheese, choose one that will melt nicely|
|1||Iceberg lettuce, or use 6 burger buns, lightly toasted|
|3 handfuls||Mesclun leaves|
|¾ cup||Vegan aioli|
|3||Medium tomatoes, sliced|
|3||Dill pickles, or gherkins|
|¾ cup||Sauerkraut, I used beetroot kraut|
To make the patties
- Wash the lentils well, place in a pot with 2 cups of water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes until tender (but still retaining their shape). Check after 15 minutes, you might need to add a little extra water. It’s important to not overcook the lentils or they will make the patty mushy.
- While the lentils are cooking, gently cook the onion in a pan on a medium to low heat with a little olive oil until translucent. Add a few drops of water if the onion starts to stick. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook with a little extra olive oil on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook a further 30 seconds.
- Place the mushroom and onion mixture into a food processor and pulse a few times until it becomes uniform: you don’t want to make it into a paste.
- Mix together all the burger ingredients along with salt and pepper to taste and shape into 6 large or 8 medium-sized patties.
- Put the oven on to grill. Bring a large frying pan to a high heat, add a few tablespoons of cooking oil and cook burger patties for 2-3 minutes until golden. Flip for another 2-3 minutes until they are cooked through.
- Top with a 3-4 slices of vegan “cheese”. Place under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese is melting.
To assemble the burgers
- Peel off any wilted leaves from the lettuce and discard, remove the lettuce base to disengage the leaves, this will enable you to gently peel them off. You can shape the leaves by cutting around the sidesto the size required for your patties: make the leaves bigger so you can contain the juices. You need 12 leaves if you want tops and bottoms. If the leaves are really big you can use one and wrap it around.
- Place half a handful of mesclun in first, followed by a heaped tablespoon of aioli, 1 large thick slice or 3-4 smaller thick slices of tomato, a few slices of pickle, burger patty and 1-2 tablespoons kraut. Top with the other lettuce bun.