Red Lentil Veggie Burgers
with Garlicky Yam Fries and Spicy Mango Ketchup
Reprinted with permission from Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes From the Celebrated Spa by Dean Rucker and Marah Stets
Here you get your burger, fries, and ketchup with no meat and none of the guilt! I admit that the list of ingredients appears daunting, but the burgers are not hard to make. Each ingredient adds its own vital flavor and nutrients, and they all add up to the best veggie burgers I've had. To speed things up, pulse the vegetables one at a time in a food processor just until finely chopped. Once formed, the patties freeze very well, so it's well worth making a double batch and freezing the individually wrapped patties until you're ready for them; let the frozen patties stand on the counter for 1 hour before cooking.
When making the mango ketchup, if you want more heat, leave the seeds in the serrano; for a milder ketchup, remove the seeds. The ketchup is also very good with grilled fish and vegetable chili.
For the mango ketchup: 1 large or 2 medium mangoes
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon diced red onion
1 tablespoon diced red bell pepper
1 serrano chile, seeded, if desired, and minced
Pinch of kosher salt, or to taste
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
For the burgers: 1/2 cup brown rice
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/2 medium onion, finely diced (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Canola or grapeseed oil spray
5 ounces broccoli, florets and peeled stems finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 medium carrots, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and grated (1 cup), squeezed to remove excess liquid
3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped (1 cup)
2 ounces fresh or defrosted frozen shelled edamame beans, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the garlicky yam fries: 1 1/4 pounds yams, peeled
2 teaspoons canola or grape seed oil, plus more in spray bottle for finishing the fries
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup cornmeal, for cooking
Leaf lettuce, for serving
Thinly sliced red onion, for serving
Thinly sliced tomatoes, for serving
Pickles, for serving
Prepare the mango ketchup. Peel the mango and cut the flesh off the pit. Dice half of the mango and set it aside; you should have about 1 cup or so. Coarsely chop the remaining mango and put it in a blender. Add the lime juice and puree until the mixture is smooth and thick, stopping the blender a few times and using a rubber spatula to push the mixture down. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the reserved mango along with the cilantro, red onion, bell pepper, and serrano chile, and stir to combine. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and set aside in the refrigerator. (The ketchup is best served the day it is made but will keep for up 2 days.)
Prepare the burgers. Put the rice in a small saucepan and add 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and use a fork to fluff the rice. Set aside until cool.
Meanwhile, put the lentils in a medium saucepan and add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, covered, until the lentils are slightly mushy, like a thick paste with a few whole lentils, 18 to 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking. Set the lentils aside until cool.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with canola or grapeseed oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until slightly translucent and fragrant but not at all brown, about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli, carrots, potatoes, shiitake mushrooms, and edamame beans and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are fragrant but still crunchy, 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and pepper. Let cool slightly. Transfer the rice, lentils, and vegetables to a large bowl and mix until well combined.
Scoop out l/2 cup of the mixture and with wet hands, pack it firmly into a tight ball as if forming a meatball. Form the ball into a 3-inch patty about 1 inch thick. Place the patty on a baking sheet and repeat to make eight burgers in all. Chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Prepare the garlicky yam fries. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut the yams into sticks approximately 1/2 inch wide by 3 to 4 inches long, depending on the length of the yams. Place the yams in a large bowl and add the canola oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to gently toss the yams and coat them with oil. Spread the yams in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking. Transfer the fries to a bowl and spritz them with canola oil. Add the parsley and garlic and toss to coat evenly.
While the fries are baking, cook the burgers. Have ready a nonstick baking sheet or line a regular baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with oil. Spread the cornmeal on a plate. Dredge each patty in cornmeal. Spray a large skillet with canola oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Place the burgers in the pan without crowding (work in batches if necessary) and sear until they are light golden on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the burgers to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes to warm through completely.
To serve, place a lettuce leaf on each of eight plates. Top the leaf with a burger, sliced red onion, and tomato. Divide the yam fries among the plates, placing them alongside the burger. Divide the mango ketchup among the plates, spooning it on top of the burgers. Serve with pickles on the side.
Credit line: Reprinted with permission from Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes From the Celebrated Spa by Dean Rucker and Marah Stets (April 2009 Clarkson Potter) $40