This gluten-free recipe was inspired by my macrobiotic days (decades ago) of brown rice, lentils and miso. This time however, the lentils are sprouted. Lentils are an excellent source of fibre, they are high in protein, and a good source of iron, B vitamins and magnesium, once sprouted though, the nutrition value increases.
This mixture made about 14 patties, some fairly large, some smaller. You will need a food processor (I use a Magimix) and the following ingredients:
3 cups cooked brown rice (I cook mine in the Instant Pot using a ratio of 1 part rice, 1 + 1/4 parts water, cooked for 23 minutes.)
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2-3 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional and according to heat tolerance)
a great big handful of fresh herbs - I used:
Salt (optional) If you add salt, add it in stages. This patty mixture isn't processed that much, so you want to make sure you're not going to end up with a concentrate of salt in one burger.)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Cook the chopped onion and garlic, then add the turmeric, paprika and chili. Cook for a couple more minutes, then set aside. You can add whatever spices you feel like actually. Cumin and coriander might be nice! This part is quite important as it will be adding flavour to your burgers. The brown rice and lentils alone are quite bland. You could certainly add dried onion powder and garlic powder, but the fresh onion and garlic add moisture, texture and in my opinion, a far better flavour.
Pulse the walnuts on their own in the food processor just a few times to break them up a little. (If you pulse all the ingredients together at once, you're likely to end up with some whole pieces of walnuts, as this mixture doesn't need to be processed much, so blitz them a couple of times.
Pulse the walnuts a couple of times in the food processor.
Be mindful to not over process them, or you'll end up with a paste. Now add the sprouted lentils. Make sure you've drained them really well beforehand. It's not enough to leave them on the strainer for a couple of minutes because as soon as you tip them, more water will probably come out. Give them a good shake or spin gently in a salad spinner.
Drain the lentil sprouts really well, then add them to the broken up walnuts.
With a spoon, mix them into the broken walnuts and then add the miso. Mix in the miso a little at a time in order to avoid ending up with a lump of it. Sprinkle in the salt (if using) and black pepper.
Add the cooked brown rice and mix that in a little with a spoon too. (Sorry, no pics - this was an experiment. Had I known the result was going to be so nice, I'd have taken more!)
Pulse the mixture just enough to bring it together. Now add the spicy onion and garlic mixture and the chopped herbs. Mix them in with a spoon and then pulse everything again a couple of times. The mixture should stick together enough to form a patty, but you need to make sure there's enough texture. This is what mine looked like:
Form into fairly thick patties. There is no binder, such as ground flax, so the patties hold together better if they're relatively thick (about 2cm, just less than 1 inch). Squeeze the mixture into a ball, then shape. I cooked mine on a hot pan as I wanted to keep an eye on them, but I think they could easily be grilled. I'm not sure how they'd do in the oven (maybe dry them out?) but it's worth trying. Next time I make them I'll put a few in the oven to see how they turn out. If you're cooking them on a pan, be careful when flipping them over. I cooked them just a few minutes either side. The brown rice is already cooked and so is the onion and garlic, so all you're really cooking is the lentil sprouts and they can be eaten raw anyway. This mixture made about 14 patties; some fairly large, some smaller.
They firm up when cooled down, are moist inside and are really nice the following day too!
I ate a couple (actually more than a couple...) with some Roasted Cherry Tomato Salsa. The next day I warmed a couple of them in the pan and ate them with Dijon mustard. I was planning on freezing what was leftover, but they've all been eaten! :)
I think next time I'll add some 'Mediterranean' flavours, such as:
I think they'll be delicious! Let me know if you make them and what you think.
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