I've been meaning to share this recipe for a while, and with Ontario's tomato season at its height this is the perfect time! This gem is care of Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook, a long time favourite of our family. All their recipes are vegetarian, but don't let this dissuade you if you're a meat eater. These are flavourful, satisfying, and a great option for meatless Mondays. The recipe may look long but these truly are easy to whip up on a week night.
2/3 C quinoa
1 Cup dried red lentils
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Cups water
1 Teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 Cup finely chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Cup seeded and diced red bell peppers
1 Tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 Cup fine chopped cilantro
1 Cup toasted cashews
Rinse and drain quinoa and lentils and set aside. In a saucepan warm 1 TBSP of olive oil and add quinoa, sautéing for one minute. Add the lentils and the water and bring to a boil, stirring often. Add the turmeric, and 1/2 tsp of salt, and simmer on low heat until quinoa is cooked and lentils are soft.
While the lentils and quinoa cook, warm up the remaining 1 TBSP olive oil in another pan on medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened. Add the bell peppers, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, and the remaining 1 tsp of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa and lentils, the cooked onions and peppers, and the lemon juice and cilantro. In a food processor, process the cashews until coarsely ground. Add them to the bowl and mix everything well.
Preheat oven to 400F, shape the mix into 6 burgers and place onto lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm.
For the Salsa
1/4 Cup minced red onions
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
1 small hot pepper, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced fresh tomato
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
Put the red onions in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. In a small saucepan, cook the hot peppers and garlic in the oil until sizzling (this doesn't take long!). Pour this hot mixture of the red onions and stir well. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, and cilantro, and stir well. Let sit for 10 minutes or so before serving atop the lentil burgers.
Enjoy with fresh Ontario corn, grilled zucchini, green beans, or your other favourite in-season produce.
Sidenote: I meant to attach a picture but frankly the last time we made them they disappeared too quickly for a photo shoot.