Grilling is a great way of preparing food during warmer months and, although the weather hasn’t been too kind recently I’ve decided it’s time to make burgers. The plan was to make them outside (or rather grill the aubergine outside), but it turned a bit rainy so my Imam Bayildi Burgers with Puy Lentils had to be cooked inside with the help of my trusty griddle pan.
I like the occasional chicken or fish burger though veggie burgers are probably at the top of my favourite burger list – there are so many possibilities when it comes to vegetables! You can try to replicate a meat burger recipe by chopping, mincing and moulding vegetarian ingredients into round patties, but this is often labour intensive. So in this recipe I grilled slices of aubergine (often considered a ‘meaty’ vegetable) and made a rich, tangy and filling stew to go with it. This healthy, delicious recipe is super easy to make and it’s vegan, too!
In the traditional Imam Bayildi recipe the aubergine is filled with a tomato, onion and parsley mixture and oven baked. It is a lovely vegetarian dish, usually made with a generous amount of oil and served with lots of crusty bread for dipping in the sauce. My vegetable mixture is made without the aubergine, which is grilled separately, and without too much oil, so the recipe is lean and comes together in about 30 minutes.
I have also used Puy lentils (not a traditional Imam Bayildi ingredient) to add more substance and protein to the sauce. Puy lentils have a lovely slightly peppery flavour and, unlike other lentils, keep their shape during cooking. If you’ve never used them before they can sometimes be tricky to identify in the supermarket as they are often labelled ‘green lentils’, along with other types of green lentils, which are not Puy lentils. So if you are looking at small, roundish grey-green lentils that have been imported from France chances are they are not just green lentils, as the label says, but Puy lentils, grown in the Le Puy region of France (hence the name).
Use your favourite burger buns and enjoy these healthy Imam Bayildi Burgers with Puy Lentils! They won’t leave you hungry:)
Yields 6 burgers
10 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 1-2 large aubergines (eggplant)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup Puy lentils, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (plus 2-3 more for brushing the aubergine)
- 4 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped (discard the tough stems)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 whole allspice
- Cinnamon and cayenne pepper for seasoning the aubergine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a saucepan heat up 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add the garlic, onion, allspice and bay leaf, stir, lower the heat and fry for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, stir, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the parsley towards the end of the cooking. (If the mixture is not thick enough cook it uncovered over a high heat for 3 extra minutes, stirring often)
- While the stew is cooking prepare the aubergine. Cut it widthways into 1 cm thick slices. Heat up a griddle pan. Brush both sides of the aubergine slices with the oil. Season with a little cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Place in the griddle pan, press gently and grill over a low heat for about 5 minutes on each side (be careful not to burn the aubergine).
- To serve use 1-2 (or more) aubergine slices and a generous helping of the stew with a bun of your choice.
- Makes approximately 6 large burgers.