Last night, our dear friends Erica and Seth (yes, we all have blogs), came over for dinner. We live on opposite sides of the Burbank/Glendale border. That means 'The Valley', for those of you who do not live in these parts. The Valley is generally a good 10 degrees hotter than the rest of the city. You can literally watch the temperature guage in your car rise as you cross over the hill. Last night, on my way home from parts west, I watched mine: 79, 82, 97,.....104! 104 degrees at 6:30pm. Good lord. Anyway, dinner and friends. I have spent several lovely evenings seated at the bar in E & S's kitchen, eating black bean burgers and shooting the breeze, so I wanted to return the favor. On the hottest night of the year. Here's what we ate:
Lentil Burgers with Tomato Salad and Basil Mayo (french fries, too, but they were frozen and from a bag. shhhh!)
I found the basic recipe for these burgers online, but it's been ages ago, so I don't know where. I would give credit where credit was due if I could! I've tweeked it a bit to my liking. (and last night I doubled this and it worked great)
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
2 1/2 cups water or veg stock (my favorite is IMAGINE Brand No-Chicken Broth)
pinch of salt
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
3/4 cup rolled oats, finely ground
1 tsp soy sauce (I didn't have any soy sauce last night and they were fine w/o it.)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Place the lentils, water, and salt in saucepan, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until liquid is nearly gone and lentils are soft but not mushy. While the lentils cook, sauté the onion and carrot in oil until soft, about 5 minutes and set aside. Give the rolled oats a quick spin in the food processor until they reach a fine meal.
Mix the lentils, onions, carrots, salt and pepper, and optional soy sauce in a large bowl, then mix in the ground oats.
While still warm, form the lentil mixture into patties. You can either pan fry the burgers with a little oil, bake them in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes until they brown, or leave them sitting on the counter in my stupidly hot kitchen and they will cook in no time. (I kid, I kid) Once the patties are made, apparently, you can also freeze them for up to a week. I usually just cook off any extra and we eat Lentil Burgers for lunch the next day or two.
I just took a bunch of red and orange grape tomatoes, halved them longways, and tossed them with flat-leaf parsley, a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Mayonnaise (or Veganaise) and Basil in the food processor, eyeball the quantities. You kind of can't mess it up.