Lentil and Eggplant burger

If you’ve known me for long enough, I’m sure you’ve heard me rant about eggplant.  Eggplant is one of the few things that I don’t like.  I felt guilty about this for a long time because I thought that I had finally met a vegetable that I didn’t like.  But then, I learned that biologically-speaking eggplant is a fruit. Sigh of relief.

When I began this blog last February, I decided it was time to fall in love with eggplant. I  even went to the store to specifically buy an eggplant, admired it for its artistic beauty, and then promised to welcome it with fresh taste buds.  Several eggplant recipes later, I threw in the towel.  There was no hope for me and eggplant.

I knew one day the eggplant would come back to haunt me.  That day is today.  Today I opened my CSA bin to find… an eggplant.  I held it up to show Ashley and we both made the “eww” face to each other.  We can be such little brats sometimes.

I quickly got to work researching new recipes and came across this one by SusanV on FatFree Vegan.  I am happy to report that eggplant tastes just fine when hidden amongst lentils and buried beneath spices.  Plus, who doesn’t love a good veggie burger?  Serve this with traditional condiments and toppings of your choice – I love spicy mustard, tomato, and sprouts.  If you are gluten-free, this patty is amazing in a lettuce or collard wrap.

Yields 6 burgers.

1 large eggplant
3/4 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 small onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 cup cooked lentils
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (spicy or mild)
2 teaspoons potato starch, cornstarch, or arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar

Preheat oven to 425 F. Remove the top of the eggplant and cut it in half lengthwise. Place it cut-sides down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon baking mat. Bake for 25 minutes or until the eggplant is completely sunken in and tender. Remove to a shallow dish and allow to cool completely. (You can do this even several days in advance and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.)

Once the eggplant is cool, discard any liquid that has accumulated and scrape the flesh from the peel. Place the pulp in a food processor and pulse a few times to make a coarse puree. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix very well and allow to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon baking mat. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, wipe or spray it with a little pan spray or canola oil. Wet your hands and form eggplant mixture into patties about 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.

Cook three or four at a time until lightly browned and then carefully flip over and brown the other side. Remove with a spatula and place each burger on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until burgers are cooked through.

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  1. says

    Sonnet, since I usually cook vegetarian for a party of one, would these freeze for future use? Otherwise, I’d just have to plan a burger night with my vegetarian eating friends. That sounds like a great idea too!


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