If you have a garden, of almost any size, you’ll reach a point sometime in the growing season when your greens will start growing more quickly than you can harvest. This past winter I grew a couple types of kale alongside rainbow chard, and though the kale has almost all bolted now, the chard is fabulous.
These lentil patties are a way to use up those masses of greens – whether that’s chard, as pictured, or something like spinach. Of course you can also use store-bought, but these may get a little expensive in that case, as they use quite a lot of leafy greens.
Soaked red lentils make for a truly excellent patty texture. These are fried, so they have a delicious crisp exterior. Make sure to really blend until quite smooth, both to finely chop the vegetables, and to make an almost-paste from the lentils.
Delicious plain, but also good with avocado aioli or another dip. We like these as a kind of wrap with sweet potato flatbread or spelt tortillas and stuffed with other vegetables like sprouts, cucumber, and pickled onions.
- Red Lentils: ideally, soak overnight. For a quick method, soak in very hot water for an hour before blending. (Soaked lentils freeze very well, if you want to make this recipe often.)
- Eggs: two whole, or three egg whites, it has been tested with both. I like the egg white method when I’ve been using all my yolks for ice cream.
- Chickpea Flour: both keeps the lentil patties gluten-free and adds extra binding power.
- Leafy Greens: rainbow chard is pictured. You can add herbs, too – a handful of parsley is delicious here.
- Onion and Garlic: the smallest onion you have, or only about 30g.
- Spices: salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
- Olive Oil: in the patties plus more for frying, though you can use avocado for cooking if preferred.
- Lemon: both the zest and juice, for a little brightness.
Notes and Substitutions
The patty mixture will seem quite liquid, but trust the eggs and chickpea flour. They will hold together as soon as they hit the hot pan. To make sure the patties are quite round, nudge the outer edges a bit with the spoon as soon as you drop the mixture into the pan.
The stalks of chard (or whatever leafy green you use) may be left on as they will be blended finely. I remove only the largest stalks, below where they meet the leaf, and blend the rest.
Kale, spinach, rucola, even beet greens – these are all good options to replace chard, and can be used in any combination. You can use a lesser amount but don’t increase them.
For a vegan option, please see these red lentil patties, which are baked. I haven’t tried baking this recipe as my oven has been broken for over four months now.
A splash of apple cider vinegar can replace the lemon juice in a pinch, but it’s not as nice. Rye flour can be used as a substitute for chickpea flour, but again, only in a pinch.
As usual, the cayenne pepper is optional and I suggest leaving it out if you are very sensitive to spice.
This does make a large batch. You can freeze the uncooked mixture in a sealed container, thaw, and cook as usual. It does get a tiny bit watery doing this, but adding a tablespoon or two of chickpea flour sorts it out. Cooked patties freeze well too.
More Lentil Recipes
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- 230 grams (1 cup) red lentils
- 300 grams (10 oz.) leafy greens
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 large eggs OR 3 egg whites
- 40 grams (1/4 cup) chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
- Zest of a lemon
- Juice of a lemon (~3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- Soak the red lentils overnight in enough cool water to cover. For a quick method, soak in very hot water for at least an hour.
- Add the greens, onion, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend until very finely chopped, about a minute.
- Drain the soaked lentils in a fine sieve and rinse well.
- Add the soaked lentils, eggs, chickpea flour, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, cumin, pepper, and cayenne pepper to the food processor. Blend again until very fine and you have a loose paste with very few visible lentils.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to just cover the base of the pan.
- Drop heaping tablespoons of the patty mixture into the hot pan, using the back of the spoon to nudge into rounder shapes (optional). Cook for 1-2 minutes on the first side, until browned, then flip and cook the second side for another 2 minutes.
- Repeat until all of the mixture has been cooked, adding oil to the pan as needed, and serve hot. Leftovers will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator and can be frozen up to a month.
You can freeze the uncooked mixture in a sealed container, thaw, and cook as usual. It does get a tiny bit watery doing this, but adding a tablespoon or two of chickpea flour sorts it out.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 33Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.