But then I stumbled on this recipe in my New Moosewood Cookbook. You cook lentils in water for about 30 minutes until the water is gone and then mash them with a bit of cider vinegar.
Saute minced mushrooms, walnuts, onion, garlic, spinach (optional but I course I went for that), salt, pepper and dry mustard. Add all that to the lentils and then put in either 1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs or wheat germ. I had wheat germ and am always looking for ways to use it so that went in.
Cool the mixture for an hour, shape patties and fry in a little oil or put under the broiler. The recipe says to make the patties 4 inches in diameter. Mine were a little bigger and I still got a lot more than the 4 to 6 servings they mention. I froze about 8 more patties and we ate three for supper.
A serving suggestion is to put a slice of ripe tomato on top along with some aoli. The aoli definitely would fit the flavor profile better than the onion, mustard and ketchup I used, but it was still delicious.
The guys loved them! Bob said he really like how full for flavor they were, with many different flavors coming through. He's right. I'll definitely make these again and I'll use the frozen ones when the guys want hamburgers.
When Taylor first saw them he said "I thought you said we were having HAMburgers!"
I corrected him. "No. Think about it," I said. "I said we were having BURGERS!"
Here's a link to the author's website with the recipe. They were a little time-consuming with all the mincing but you can get all that done and the sauteeing while the lentils cook.