Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine lentils and 2 cups of the broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until lentils are tender (you need them to be soft, not mushy!). Remove from the heat, remove the lid, and stir. Set aside to cool completely. Drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add garlic, carrot, and curry spice blend and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in ¼ cup of the remaining broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, adding more broth if the mixture is too dry.
Use a vegetable masher or food processor (a blender will become gummed up) to purée the cooked lentils with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Scrape into a large bowl and add the cooked onion mixture, walnuts, and salt. Add 1 or both tablespoons mustard and mix well to form a soft, moist mixture. (This part is a bit tricky: the mixture has to be soft and moist enough to form patties, not too dry or it will split and break, yet not too wet or it won’t hold together.)
Divide the mixture into six portions (eight if making sliders) and press between the palms of your hands into round patties (about ¾ inch thick). Arrange on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with foil, and set aside for 10 minutes to firm up.
Serve patties between hamburger buns and pass the condiments and toppings separately.
Let’s face it: these patties are crumbly, making it practical to eat them with a fork—but they are so delicious, and we love them!
You’ve Got Options
You can buy cooked lentils in a can and they will work fine, but look, cooking lentils is not a big deal. If you do use canned, promise me that you’ll use those leftover lentils in a burrito or a wrap!
Makes 8 Sliders or 6 Regular-Size Patties
1 cup dried brown or green lentils (see options)
2¼ to 2½ cups vegetable broth or water, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin avocado oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 teaspoon Curry Spice Blend or store-bought
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 or 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 small hamburger buns
From “The Reducetarian Cookbook: 125 Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Omnivores, Vegans, and Everyone In-Between” by Reducetarian Foundation (Center Street, $21.99). Recipe developed by Pat Crocker. Photo by Ashleigh Amoroso.