Adapted from nytimes.com/cooking
Besides the fact that in the picture they looked amazing, the name of these burgers stood out for me. Sweet potatoes? Amazing. Quinoa? Amazing. Spinach? Amazing. Red lentils? Amazing. Also, when looking at the ingredients list I saw feta cheese and that was it for me. These burgers combine a good variety of vegetables with whole grain and vegetarian protein. The spinach and lentils put together also make a great source of iron.
Yields 14 burgers
- 1/3 cup dry quinoa (blond or black)
- 1/3 cup dry red lentils
- 1 2/3 cups water
- 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, baked
- 3 cups chopped fresh spinach, tightly packed
- 3 ounces feta, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup soy flour (you won’t use it all)
- Combine the quinoa, red lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender and blond quinoa displays a thread and lentils are just tender. Drain off any water remaining in the pot through a strainer and then return to the pot. Cover the pot with a dishtowel and return the lid. Let sit undisturbed for 15 minutes.
- Skin the sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl. Mash with a fork. Add the spinach and mash together with your hands. Add the quinoa and lentils, feta, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together well.
- Take up 1/3 cup of the mixture and form into a ball (wet your hands to reduce sticking). Roll the ball in the soy flour (or panko or chickpea flour) and gently flatten into a patty. Set on a greased baking sheet and continue with the rest of the mixture. Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour or longer (the longer the better).
- Preheat the oven to 450F (232C).
- Place the burgers in the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until browned and crispy on one side. Flip and cook for about 10 more minutes until browned and crispy on the other side.
Comments: These burgers offer a fantastic blend of flavors. You have the sweetness from the potatoes and the tanginess of the feta and they also have a brilliant color. The original recipe doesn’t actually say to bake them but to fry them. I started them off in an oven at 350F (180C) and made my way up to 450F when I saw they weren’t getting crispy. I realized that there was a reason for frying them; they are very soft. Therefore, I recommend frying them instead, which is what I’ll do in the future. To fry, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch, heavy nonstick frying pan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and place 4 to 5 patties in the pan without crowding. Cook until well browned on one side (about 4 minutes), turn and brown for about 4 more minutes. Remove to a rack set over a sheet pan and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve. Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil or as needed to cook the remaining patties. We had these burgers with brown rice but they would go well with a salad as well. Try topping them with Greek yogurt.