The flavors of this burger are inspired by Turkish and Armenian pizzas known as lachmacun. Though traditionally a meat dish, the tastiness of lachmacun lies in the contrast between the peppery hot spices and the cool salad and garlicky Cashew Toum sauce. Lentils flavored by cinnamon, cumin, and coriander make a delicious patty. Finish with crispy lettuce, onion, and sauces.
- Yield: 4 burgers
- Olive oil or ghee, for frying
- 2¾ cups (193 g) mushrooms, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1½ cups (250 g) cooked Le Puy lentils or other dark lentils
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) Homemade Harissa or store-bought
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- 3½ ounces (100 g) walnuts, lightly toasted and ground
- ¼ cup (50 g) cooked bulgur or brown rice
- 1 scant cup (15 g) fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 scant cup (50 g) sun-dried tomatoes, soaked, drained, and puréed
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 buns, halved and lightly toasted
- Cashew Toum
- Red onion slices
- Finely shredded iceberg lettuce
- Handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- Handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
To make the patties
- Preheat the oven to 140°F (60°C). Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil or 1 tablespoon (14 g) ghee. Add the mushrooms and fry for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they have shriveled and any excess liquid has cooked away. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute more.
- Stir in the lentils, harissa, cumin, salt, and cinnamon. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until fragrant and any excess liquid has cooked away.
- Mix in the walnuts, bulgur, cilantro, and sun-dried tomatoes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor in batches and pulse until you have a rough crumbly texture with bits and pieces left. Refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes, or up to 24 hours covered.
- Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and shape each into a small patty. In a skillet over medium-high heat, fry the patties for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. Lightly season with pepper and more salt, to taste. Place the patties on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Assemble the patties in the Turkish bread and top with toum, red onion, lettuce, mint, and cilantro.