These easy, kid-friendly burgers can be spiced any way you like – feel free to substitute different fresh herbs and spices as you wish. Black lentils are sometimes sold as beluga lentils, or use French green lentils in their place if you cannot find them. Leftover burgers are easily re-heated for a quick meal.
Prep time: 55m | Serves 6–8
¾ cup black lentils
¾ cup rolled oats
½ onion, roughly chopped
1 egg (for vegan version, use 1 Tablespoon ground flax mixed with 2 Tablespoons water)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 handful cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
Neutral cooking oil (for brushing)
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water until soft and drained
½ cup canned tomatoes or blanched/peeled fresh tomatoes (when in season)
1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
A few sprigs of fresh oregano (remove leaves from stem) or a couple leaves of basil
2 teaspoons olive oil
1–2 pinches salt
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking pad.
Place lentils in a medium pot and add water to just cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover the pot and simmer lentils for 15–17 minutes. They should be cooked through but not mushy. Drain lentils in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cool water. Let lentils cool slightly before proceeding.
While lentils cool, prepare the sauce: Place sun-dried and regular tomatoes in a food processor, along with garlic and oregano/basil leaves. Process until sun-dried tomatoes are chopped well. Add in the olive oil and salt and pulse a few times to incorporate. Taste sauce and adjust flavors as you like. Transfer sauce to a bowl for serving.
Place oats in a food processor and process them until they resemble a coarse flour. Transfer the oat flour to a large mixing bowl. Place the onion and lentils in the food processor and use the pulse function a few times until onion is chopped and lentils start to break down (do not overprocess – mixture should not become a paste). Transfer lentils to the same bowl as the oats, and add in the egg, spices, cilantro and salt. Use a wooden spoon or silicon spatula to stir the burger mixture well. Taste and adjust any seasonings as you wish.
Divide the mixture into 6–8 even portions, then use your hands to shape them into uniform patties. Lightly brush both sides of each burger with oil and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake burgers for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Serve immediately, accompanied by the prepared sun-dried tomato sauce.