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French Lentil Burgers


  • 1 c dry French green lentils; about 2 cups cooked (brown lentils work too)
  • 2 c water
  • 2 tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped small
  • 1 leek, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 kale leaves, stems removed and chopped fine
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice and boiled or steamed
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • ½ c raw pumpkin seeds, ground fine
  • ¼ c fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs, stems removed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

Optional toppings:

  • Gruyere, camembert, havarti, or chevre cheese (melted)
  • Parsley walnut pesto
  • Fresh tomato slices covered with diced chives, sea salt, and black pepper


  1. Place lentils in a medium saucepan and soak overnight (while lentils do not require soaking, doing so aids in their digestion). Drain and rinse lentils. Add water and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, partially covered, about 30 minutes or until lentils are soft and the liquid is gone. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, add vinegar, cooked potatoes, and ground pumpkin seeds; mash well and set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and leeks and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, carrots, kale, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Turn down heat to medium-low. Cover and cook about 10 to 15 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.

  3. Add the saute to the lentils and mix well. Chill for an hour before shaping patties.

  4. Form burgers into 4-inch rounds. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook on both sides until burgers are heated through and form a crisp exterior. Add a few slices of gruyere, camembert, harvarti, or chevre cheese on top. Cover and cook until cheese melts.

  5. Optional: serve with a side of parsley walnut pesto or fresh tomato slices sprinkled with diced chives, sea salt, and black pepper.

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