“Lentils are friendly—the Miss Congeniality of the bean world.”
1 pound (1 1/2 cups) red lentils
5 cups water, salted
1 cup minced onion (1 medium)
1/2 cup minced carrot (1 large)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
Olive oil for the skillet
2 cups chopped crimini mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
4 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
10 ounces firm tofu, pureed in a blender
In a large pot, simmer the lentils in salted water until tender. Drain and cool.
In a large skillet, sauté the onion, carrot and garlic in 1 teaspoon olive oil until tender, about 2 minutes
Add the mushrooms, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until mushrooms are tender and liquid has evaporated, approximately 5 minutes, and allow to cool.
Add the bread crumbs, lemon juice, pureed tofu, 2 tablespoons olive oil and cooked lentils and mix to combine. Transfer to a large bowl. Chill for 30 minutes and then shape into 8 patties.
Pan fry in olive oil in a large skillet until each side is crisp and golden. Finish in a 350°F oven if necessary to heat through.