Cool your jets, man

Warm Balsamic Salad and Lentil & Chickpea Burgers topped with Curry Mayo

This meal cost 1 million dollars but was worth every penny.  It would be best enjoyed outside with friends, perhaps in Washington Park.  We had a lot of the ingredients to begin with, but did go to the store for this one.  Makes enough for about 4-5 people.

Chris T. said, “It was delicious.” Nick W. said, “I liked it.  Lis George is my favorite.” KC O. said, “It was like nothing I’ve ever had before.”

Interested? Hungry? Hit the jump.

Shopping List:

  • 1 Bag of Red Lentils
  • 1 Can of Chickpeas
  • 1 White Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • 5 Whole Wheat Burger Buns
  • Baby Spinach
  • Red Onion
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne
  • Curry Powder
  • Thyme
  • Paprika
  • Fresh Basil
  • Vegetable broth/boullion
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Feta Cheese
  • Balsamic Vinegar

For the warm salad I chose:

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • 2 Small Yellow Squash
  • 1/2 a Red Pepper
  • 1/2 a Yellow Pepper
  • 2 cups Baby Bella Mushrooms

(You could pick any mixture of vegetables, according to your preference, and it will come out delicious.)

Step one:

I made the curry mayonnaise first to allow the flavors to sit together. Simply mix 2 tbsps curry powder, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1/4 tsp cayenne in 1 cup of mayo. Cover this and let it sit in the fridge while you prepare the remainder of your meal.

Dice 1/2 an onion and 1 clove of garlic. Place this in a pot  with 2 tbsps olive oil over medium heat.

While this cooks, you can chop up your vegetable mixture. Cut the veggies into bite-sized pieces, and chop your fresh basil, then set aside to be cooked later.

When your onions are soft and translucent,  add 2 tbsps of cumin, 1 tsp cayenne, 3/4 tsp thyme, and 1 tsp paprika. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes, until it is fragrant.

Step two:

Prepare 2 cups of your broth/boullion. Add 3/4 cup lentils and 1 cup of broth to your onion, garlic and spice mixture. Stir until everything is evenly mixed. Turn the heat to medium high. Make sure to watch closely, adding more broth here and there when it looks dry, similar to cooking a risotto.

When the lentils seem to be softening up, take a large fry pan and heat up 2-3 tbsps of olive oil. Turn the burner to medium, add 3 tbsps of water, and throw in your cut vegetables. Cover this and simply let it cook. Make sure to continue stirring the lentils.

Step three:

Open your can of chickpeas, rinse them well and mash them in a large bowl with a potato masher.

Once your lentils become smooth and dry, add them to your chickpeas. Mix this well, until it is an even consistency. Let it cool before adding your egg or flour.

Make sure to continue moving around your vegetables.

Once the chickpea/lentil mixture is cooled, add one egg and 1/4 a cup of flour. Mix this very well. You want the mixture to be slightly doughy and dry. If its still too moist, add flour accordingly.

Heat up 2-3 tbsps oil in a large pan. Form your mixture into fairly large patties. You will probably be able to make 4 or 5 large ones. Fry these in the oil until both sides are brown and crispy.

Step four:

While the burgers are cooking, you can prepare the warm salad. Simply throw your vegetable mixture in a large bowl with 2-3 tbsps balsamic vinegar(to taste), 1 cup feta and as much fresh basil as you would like.  Mix it well and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

When the burgers are done cooking, put them on your choice of bread. I chose some large whole wheat buns. Spread a generous helping of your curry mayonnaise (since it is delicious) on one side of the bun. Topping your burger with baby spinach, red onion and two pieces of thinly sliced avocado is a great choice.

Plate your salad with your burger and enjoy!

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