For the burgers:
- 3/4 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons coriandor
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large egg
For the yogurt cilantro sauce
- 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- whole wheat pita bread or whole wheat buns
- tomato, bell pepper, red onion, etc. for topping (if desired)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the lentils in a small saucepan, cover with 1-inch of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 15-20 minutes. Drain well and let cool.
Meanwhile, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly darkened. Let cool.
In a food processor, combing toasted walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Process until finely ground. Add the lentils and 1 tablespoon of the oil and pulse until coarsely chopped (some whole lentils should remain).
In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Add the lentil-walnut mixture, mix well. Divide mixture into 4 equal parts, roll into balls, and flatten with the palm of your hands into 3/4-inch thick patties.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the burgers; cook over medium-low heat until crisped and browned, turning gently with a thin-edged spatula, 8-10 minutes per side. Once cooked transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Serve burger patties on pita bread, top with yogurt sauce (recipe below) and other desired toppings.
For the sauce:
In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk yogurt, cilantro, and lemon juice together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.