Years ago, I followed a recipe for a vegan pâté that used walnuts and sherry vinegar. I remember thinking at the time, “This sherry vinegar better be worth buying, because I don’t know when I’ll ever have an excuse to use it again.” But once I tried it, I was a total convert. Whether it’s to flavor salad dressings, stews, soups or marinades, sherry vinegar can really bring out the best in a dish.
This vegan lentil walnut burger recipe came together, because I was thinking about that vegan pâté. You can enjoy these burgers year round, whether you grill them on the bbq, pan fry them on the stove, or bake them on a lightly greased cookie sheet in the oven.
This lentil nut burger recipe makes 4 patties. Once again, use sherry vinegar, but if you can’t find it, give balsamic vinegar a shot. It won’t be the same, but it will still be good!
Of course, you can top this recipe for lentil walnut burgers with whatever you want, but I recommend some greens, grilled sliced mushrooms, miso mayo (2 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise + ¼ tsp white miso) and dijon mustard. If you do nothing else, don’t skip the dijon mustard! It has an awesome synergy with the fresh rosemary, walnuts and sherry vinegar.
I hope you enjoy this burger, as much as we did!
Rosemary Walnut Lentil Burgers
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup raw walnuts
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar (see note above)
3 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 cups cooked green lentils
1 cup cooked bulgur
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup flat leaf parsley
1 cup julienned carrots
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced OR ½-1 tsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp flax seed meal
1. In a large skillet, add red onions, olive oil and a dash of salt. Sauté over medium-low heat for ~10 minutes or until the onions start to turn a bit golden. Then, stir in the walnuts and garlic, and sauté another 3-5 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly, to help toast up the walnuts. Then, add the sherry vinegar and soy sauce. Keep stirring until it completely reduces (another 1-2 minutes).
2. In a blender or food processor, add 1 cup cooked green lentils, ½ cup cooked bulgur, the walnut-onion mixture from the skillet, garlic powder and fresh parsley. Pulse until it becomes a nice, mostly smooth, paste. Spoon into a large mixing bowl.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients (the rest of the lentils, rest of the bulgur, carrots, etc) to the large mixing bowl. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if necessary (does it need more salt? Little more vinegar?). If the mixture feels too wet, add a bit more flax seed meal (another tsp), and wait about 15 minutes. Test again to see if it’s a little more firm.
4. For this recipe, I made 4 burgers out of the mixture, and thus, the time below are for making 4 burgers. If you make more than 4 burgers, the burgers will take less time to cook on each side. In addition, everyone has a different version of how “charred” they like their burger. Adjust accordingly for size and desired level of “char”.
- TO GRILL: Line a gas grill with a large piece of non-stick aluminum foil. Shape 4 burgers out of the burger mixture, and brush with olive oil. I used a gas grill at 450º F, and grilled for 4 minutes on each side.
- TO PAN FRY: Add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet, and warm over medium heat. Shape 4 burgers out of the burger mixture. Fry over medium-low heat and allow to cook for ~4 minutes on each side.
- TO BAKE: Preheat the oven to 450º F. Line a large cookie sheet with non-stick aluminum foil. Shape 4 burgers out of the burger mix, and brush them with olive oil. Place the burgers on the non-stick aluminum foil. When the oven reaches 450º F, bake for 4 minutes, then remove the cookie sheet, flip each burger, and return it to the oven. Bake for another 4 minutes.
5. Top with your favorite toppings and serve 🙂