Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

Tastes like summer…

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Lentil-Walnut Burgers

…At least it did on Friday!  Right now it’s in the fifties, rainy and gray and I’m having a hard time remembering that it was 70 just three short days ago!  In honor of the short-lived warm-up (although we’re supposed to hit 80 this weekend!) I decided that Friday night’s supper would be cookout-style with a twist – lentil-walnut burgers, red bliss potato salad with blue cheese and sparkling vanilla lemonade.

Sparkling vanilla lemonade is a great twist on a classic.  It starts, as it should, with some fresh lemons…

Sparkling Vanilla Lemonade

Then a vanilla bean joins the party…  (I know, vanilla beans are expensive – I had one in the pantry.)

Sparkling Vanilla Lemonade

They sit together with some sugar and water…

Day 39 of 365 - Friday, April 17th 2009 - Sparkling Vanilla Lemonade

Until their individual flavors have merged into something sublime. The whole thing is topped off with some sparkling water and *boom* a refreshing and modern drink! If you’re feeling saucy, a shot of citrus or vanilla vodka or limoncello complements the ade nicely.

Sparkling Vanilla Lemonade

I love this potato salad – the blue cheese really sends it over the top!  It’s also really easy – red bliss potatoes…

Red Bliss Potato Salad with Blue Cheese

…Combined with a creamy and tangy buttermilk and blue cheese dressing…

Red Bliss Potato Salad with Blue Cheese

Red Bliss Potato Salad with Blue Cheese

…And some time in the fridge – YUM!

The lentil-walnut burgers area great way to use up leftover lentils but even if you don’t have leftover lentils, they are so worth it!

Walnuts are toasted…

Lentil-Walnut Burgers

…Always a good start! They are then blended with spices, breadcrumbs and lentils…

Lentil-Walnut Burgers

Lentil-Walnut Burgers

Then an egg is added, to bind everything together…

Lentil-Walnut Burgers

Into the pan they go!

Lentil-Walnut Burgers

I served them with caramelized onions and blue cheese – YUM!

I spent about $8 buying supplies for this meal but many of the items, like the leftover buttermilk, nuts, rolls and 3.5 lbs of potatoes, will be used in other recipes.  I doubled the burger recipe so there were also six burgers that went into the freezer for later.

Sparkling Vanilla Lemonade

  • 8 – 10 lemons
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup sugar
  • sparkling water

Dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 2 cups of water.  Juice all but one of the lemons, slice the last lemon into wheels.  Add the lemons to the sugar-water.  Scrape out the vanilla bean and add the scrapings plus the pod to the lemon water mixture.  Let sit for at least an hour – the longer it sits, the better it gets.  Top off with sparking water.

Red Bliss Potato Salad with Blue Cheese
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living – if you are not a vegetarian or cooking for one, click that link – the recipe has BACON!

  • 1 1/2 pounds Red Bliss potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 ounces blue cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh scallions or chives, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish – I used scallions

Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.  Place potatoes and the salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water, and bring to a simmer. Cook until a knife pierces through potatoes with little resistance, about 8 minutes. Drain, and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, mix blue cheese, buttermilk, vinegar, and mustard in a bowl until well combined.

Combine potatoes, dressing, scallions or chives in a large bowl. Garnish with blue cheese and scallions/chives.

Lentil-Walnut Burgers
Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food

  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, cooled
  • 1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup lentils, cooked, drained, and cooled
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large egg

In a food processor, combine walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; process until finely ground. Add lentils and 1 tablespoon oil; pulse until coarsely chopped (some lentils should remain whole).

In a large bowl, whisk egg. Add lentil mixture; mix well. Divide into 4 equal-size parts; roll into balls, and flatten with the palm of your hand into 3/4-inch-thick patties.

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add burgers; cook over medium-low heat until crisp and browned, turning gently with a thin-edged spatula, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

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One thought on “Tastes like summer…

  1. Pingback: A trio of breakfast options « Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

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