Lentil-Walnut Burgers

Makes 4 burgers

3/4 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
3/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large egg

Toppings:
Yogurt-Cilantro sauce (recipe follows)
Pita pockets
Thinly sliced red onion
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced cucumbers
Baby spinach

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the lentils in a small saucepan and cover with 1 inch of well salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the lentils are tender, but still hold their shape, about 20 minutes. Drain the lentils and let them cool.

Meanwhile, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes until they are fragrant. Let cool.

In a food processor, combine the walnuts, panko, garlic, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Process until the mixture is finely ground. Add the lentils and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pulse until coarsely chopped (some lentils should remain whole).

In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Add the lentil mixture and mix to combine. Divide the mixture into 4 parts and form into patties.

Heat the remaining oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the burgers and cook until crisp and browned, 6-8 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil. Serve with the yogurt-cilantro sauce, pitas,  onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, and spinach.

Yogurt-Cilantro Sauce

3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, cilantro, and lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the lentil-walnut burgers.
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