The Great Canadian Beluga Lentil Burger – A Whale of a Burger

As one of Quebec’s top chefs, when Charles Part of the legendary Les Fougères dubbed this a “Whale of a Burger”, I listened.  Then I read…and headed to my local lentil purveyor immediately.  You could substitute dried cranberries (Canadian-only please) for the apricots or serve it in a flatbread as a wrap.  Brilliant! Charles and his wife/partner Jennifer Warren Part have an attachment to their environment is strongly reflected in the attention to both seasonality and fabulous flavours! 

  • 2 cups black beluga lentils
  • ½ cup split red lentils
  • ½ cup split yellow lentils
  • 1 tsp each cumin seed, fennel seed, and coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp green chilies, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup black lentil flour (can be made by grinding dry black beluga lentils in a coffee grinder)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • ¾ tbsp lime zest
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Lentil Cooking Notes: Rinse the lentils in water, keeping the black lentils separate from the red and yellow. Place the red and yellow lentils in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer until tender – about 10 minutes. Do the same with the black lentils – they will take a little longer to cook to tender – about 15 minutes. Drain well. Mash or process the red and yellow lentils to a paste. Leave the black lentils whole. Reserve.

To make the burgers begin by roasted the spices.  In a dry skillet, over medium heat, roast the spices until fragrant.  Immediately remove from heat and grind finely. Gently sauté the chopped onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies in the oil until soft, add spices and sauté a further 5 minutes.

Stir in the black lentil flour. Stir in red and yellow lentil paste and the whole cooked beluga lentils.

Remove from heat. When cool stir in the pecans, apricots, fresh coriander, basil, lime zest, and the salt and pepper to taste.

Shape into patties and cook on a hot oiled grill pan, five minutes per side or until golden.

Place in a multigrain flatbread bun with sliced cucumber, avocado, tomato, red onion and a few spinach leaves tossed in plain yogurt. A spoonful of spicy red pepper jelly or sweet lime pickle would also be delicious spooned on top of the burger. Chomp into burger heaven – MMMMM…..!

 

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