If I should pick something out of fall that I incredibly love, that would be pumpkin. In the oven, fried, toasted, with rice, filled in ravioli, in soups. Simply s-u-b-l-i-m-e.
I remember, a few years ago, I ate so much pumpkin in such a short amount of time that my hands became suddenly orange. I remember the face of my parents worried about my health due to this incredible transformation. After a few medical tests, I received the confirmation that it was caused by an excess of pumpkin and carrots. Crazy, right!? I never turned out to be Hulk (green) because of my habit of eating tons of salad, but orange, yes, I surely did!
In the last trip to Italy I stocked up on pumpkin supplies. This time, I tried to cook the pumpkin in a new version, accompanied with delicious lentils and sweet potatoes. These vegetarian burgers are perfect for those who don’t eat meat, but also for those like me, simple lovers of creative and tasteful dishes that lead to a sensational experience.
1. Start by chopping the shallot in small pieces.
2. Drizzle some oil in a pan and let the shallot brown.
3. Wash the lentils under cold water, then put them in the pan with the browned shallot. Add some salt and then water until they are covered. It should take approximately 45 minutes on medium heat for the lentils to be cooked. Once in a while, stir them and add some water if they are dried.
4. Now peel the pumpkin and cut it in small equal pieces. Drizzle some oil in another pan and start cooking the pumpkin. Add some salt and a sip of water and let it cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Once cooked, put it in a bowl on the side.
5. Do the same with the potatoes. Peel them and cut them in small chunks. Drizzle some oil in the same pan where you cooked the pumpkin, add some salt, a sip of water and let everything cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Once cooked, add it to the bowl where you put the lentils.
6. At this point, your lentils should be already cooked. So put them in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix everything together with a blender.
7. Add the eggs and the breadcrumbs, then stir the mix with a big spoon.
8. Once all the ingredients are nicely mixed, put the bowl in the fridge for about two hours, so that the ingredients have the time to rest and better blend together.
9. Now it’s time to prepare your mini-burgers. Put a baking paper on a baking sheet, take some dough from the bowl and shape it with your hands until you create burgers. You can decide to make them thinner or bigger than mine. Finally, brush the burgers with some oil.
9. Bake at 230 °C per 15 minutes on grill mode. Your delicious and tasty burgers are ready to be served!
Due to the super flavor of these burgers, I suggest to accompany this dish with a plate of fresh salad. If you prefer, instead of baking the burgers, you can fry them in a pan. My recipe is healthier, but I am sure you don’t need to feel guilty if you try the fried version. Let me know in the comments if you made other versions of vegetarian burgers!