What the Hell Do You Make with Lentil Puree?

brown lentils

Unless it’s mashed potatoes, I’m not into a side of mush. I once made a butternut squash-pumpkin-ruttabaga puree as a side to a cabbage hash, but that was once. Just once.

And now I possess a large bowlful of lentil puree. At first I wanted to make a lentil salad, but when my lentils tasted bitter, I doused them with soy sauce and threw them in the food processor for a prompt whipping.

I rolled the first batch of the puree, with slightly cooked and soy-flavored cabbage, into spring rolls. The rolls were then topped with a dipping sauce of grated carrots (using a microplane), sesame oil, sesame seeds and more soy sauce.

But the appetizer used only a third of the lentil puree. What to do? I googled “lentil puree” and found an idea from The Sneaky Chef.

Lentil Patties with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrot-Soy Sauce

And I just want to put this reminder out there – I mess around in the kitchen. I love telling you what I’ve made and how I do it, but there is no exactness to my cooking. Take it as a guide.

I sauteed a chopped onion with garlic in oil, then added in cumin, curry powder, fenugreek, black sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Then I dumped in about 1 1/4 cups of brown lentils, let them start to soften and absorb some of the flavor, then I added 3 1/2 cups of water and 2 bay leaves, set the flame pretty low, and covered it to let it barely simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.

I think I added too much fenugreek because the lentils tasted quite bitter, so I added in soy sauce, a bit of water and pureed the lentils in batches (remember to remove the bay leaves!).

To make the patties, I mixed in shredded soy-cooked cabbage and formed them into circles about the size of my palm. I decided that the puree was thick and cohesive enough to omit the binding of eggs and flour and instead just patted panko onto both sides. I placed the patties on a baking sheet, covered it loosely with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer to firm up (about 20 minutes) and then pan fried them on both sides until browned.

For a side, I tossed halved brussels sprouts with oil, salt and pepper and placed them cut side down on a baking pan in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until browned.

I used the same thick sauce for the spring rolls, which was simply grated carrot, soy sauce, sesame seeds and sesame oil.

(Photo: jules: stonesoup)

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  • BS January 20, 2011  

    wow – I would never have thought to make lentils into a patty. these sound great.

  • erica January 20, 2011  

    BS, you are soooo obviously not a vegetarian! 🙂

    You can also stir it into soups or chilis, even curry, or make a hummus/tapenade/dip. i’ve also seen people take lentils, mush them, wrap around a stick and fry them, though i’ve never tried it myself, and to be honest i’ve only ever seen that once, though i was quite impressed with the idea. they could also be repurposed into a vegi meatball type thing like this: http://www.myvegancookbook.com/recipes/recipe.php?id=20 . i was eating them straight from the freezer, they are very good. of course, real meatballs are easier, but you know how we do…

  • gansie January 20, 2011  

    @erica. wow. thank you. now i’m regretting using all of the lentil puree for patties and not saving some to fry on a stick. but i had a bunch of patties leftover and stuck them in the freezer. maybe i can re-purpose them and fry them next time…

  • BS January 20, 2011  

    haha way to call me out, erica….you can also wrap it in bacon…

  • erica January 20, 2011  

    or you can always make more lentils! they are cheap.
    bs – or cheese! or both 🙂

  • BS's Mom January 23, 2011  

    I’ve never had leftover lentils so know nothing about lentil puree but my favorite way to have lentils (except in a salad when my husband sprouts lentils) is to cook them for about 10 minutes and then add salt, pepper, shallots, olive oil and balsamic vinegar (my retired chef brother-in-law’s recipe). Delicious, especially in the summertime.

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