Lemony Lentil Patties with Massaged Kale Salad

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I’m sitting at an airport Starbucks right now, waiting for my flight to DC for Eat, Write Retreat. The people sitting behind me keep glancing over like “What is that crazy girl doing with a million pictures of food?” (Hi people reading over my shoulder!) Anyway, it’s going to be a great weekend, and I hope to come home with new skills and fresh inspiration that will help make this blog better. I’m really excited!

I’m also really excited about last night’s dinner – I just couldn’t wait any longer to share it. I really enjoyed the Southwest lentil patties that I created for the lentil challenge that I participated in last year, and I knew that I wanted to do a fresh take on them this year. This time, I put a Moroccan spin on the patties, with lots of lemon zest, cardamom, and za’atar. They had a wonderfully bright flavor and a great falafel-like texture with a crispy exterior and a soft, velvety center. Served over a salad inspired by some gorgeous kale that I picked up at the Schenectady Green Market, this was a light, yet super filling dinner that we both enjoyed immensely.

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For any of you from the Capital Region who love the Troy Market but have never been to the one in Schenectady, I urge you to check it out! It’s on Sundays, which a little inconvenient for me (I like to plan y weekly menu and get my shopping out of the way on Saturday) but I really love it. The atmosphere is more intimate than the Troy market and the produce seems rawer and a little rough around the edges — but in a good way! There are always unique items to be found, like mustard greens, this amazing Russian red kale, and white beets. Whereas I tend to leave the Troy market with tons of prepared foods, I leave the Schenectady market with arms full of fresh produce and tons of inspiration.

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I really wish that I had taken a photo of this kale before I chopped it up — it was stunningly beautiful. It seemed like a shame to cook it, and I remembered the massaged kale salad that I had when I visited Northern Spy Food Company. Chopping up the kale and literally giving it a nice long massage with some salt draws out all of the bitter liquid and allows you to eat it raw. Be sure to start out with lots of kale though — it loses a ton of volume as you massage it. I started with about 3 cups of loosely packed and ended up with about a half cup once it was ready to eat. It was enough for the two of us but definitely don’t plan to have ay left over.
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Lemony Lentil Patties with Massaged Kale Salad

Prep time 30 minutes , Total time 45 minutes

Serves 2

  • 1/2 cup Lentils, cooked
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Zest from one Lemon
  • 1 Tbs Cardamom
  • 1 tsp. Za’atar
  • 2 Tbs Lentil Flour (or garbanzo bean or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 bunch Red Kale
  • 2 Tbs Salt
  • 2 Tbs toasted Pine Nuts
  • 4 dried Figs, quartered
  • Splash of White Balsamic vinegar

Place the cooked lentils in a small bowl and mash gently with the back of a spoon — it should be mostly smooth, but with some bigger pieces of lentils for texture. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook until just soft — about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan, leaving any remaining oil behind. Add the onion, garlic, lemon zest, spices, flour, and egg to the lentils. Mix to combine. Form into 8 balls, then flatten them slightly between your hands. Fry in remaining oil until golden brown and crispy — one and half to two minutes on each side.

Slice the kale into thin ribbons (if using a sturdier kale, like dinosaur kale, discard the center vein before slicing). Add the kale and the salt to a large bowl. Use your hands to massage the salt into the kale for 2 minutes. Gently squeeze the kale to remove as much liquid as you can – I ended up with about a half cup. Use your fingers to fluff the kale back up. Toss with the chopped figs, pine nuts, and vinegar.

Serve the kale salad topped with lentil patties.

Serving suggestion: Stuff the salad and lentil patties into warmed pita halves.

 

Over the next two weeks, I will be participating in the US Dry Pea and Lentil Challenge by posting several gluten-free recipes featuring dry peas and lentils (similar to the Recipe Rivalry challenge I participated in last year!). As a challenge participant, I received a stipend for groceries, samples of US dry peas and lentils, and some cooking supplies from the US Dry Pea and Lentil Council. At the end of the challenge, there will be an opportunity for you to help me win a prize — and to win a prize of your own. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. As always, all opinions are my own and all recipes are original.

 

Lemony Lentil Patties with Massaged Kale Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serving suggestion: Stuff the salad and lentil patties into warmed pita halves.
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Lentils, cooked
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup chopped Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Zest from one Lemon
  • 1 Tbs Cardamom
  • 1 tsp. Za’atar
  • 2 Tbs Lentil Flour (or garbanzo bean or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 bunch Red Kale
  • 2 Tbs Sal
  • 2 Tbs toasted Pine Nuts
  • 4 dried Figs, quartered
  • Splash of White Balsamic vinegar
Preparation
  1. Place the cooked lentils in a small bowl and mash gently with the back of a spoon — it should be mostly smooth, but with some bigger pieces of lentils for texture. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook until just soft — about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan, leaving any remaining oil behind. Add the onion, garlic, lemon zest, spices, flour, and egg to the lentils. Mix to combine. Form into 8 balls, then flatten them slightly between your hands. Fry in remaining oil until golden brown and crispy — one and half to two minutes on each side.
  2. Slice the kale into thin ribbons (if using a sturdier kale, like dinosaur kale, discard the center vein before slicing). Add the kale and the salt to a large bowl. Use your hands to massage the salt into the kale for 2 minutes. Gently squeeze the kale to remove as much liquid as you can – I ended up with about a half cup. Use your fingers to fluff the kale back up. Toss with the chopped figs, pine nuts, and vinegar.
  3. Serve the kale salad topped with lentil patties.

Comments

  1. I love to flash steam veggies, that way they still have a fresh crunch!

  2. That kale salad sounds delicious but one question. Do you remove the kale from the salt after you massage it? Otherwise wouldn’t it be really salty? I love the idea of kale, figs, pine nuts & balsamic!

    • I didn’t remove the salt. I’m not sure what the chemistry of it is, but I’m guessing maybe the salt washed away with the liquids? It wasn’t salty at all.

  3. The lentil patties sound delicious – you had me at “falafel-like texture!”

    I love to eat summer produce raw – it’s so delicious when it’s fresh-picked!

  4. My favourite way to eat most things is standing right next to them – our peas and raspberries, especially, seldom make it into the house!

  5. I just tweeted, too!

  6. Love the Moroccan Twist on these tasty looking patties!

    My favorite way to eat summer produce is grilled…. yum!

  7. I love lentils and kale – yum! I think my favorite way to eat summer produce is fresh. There is something about crisp fruits and veggies that seems to go with summer. Ripe strawberries, sweet and juicy watermelon, or crisp leafy lettuce, just as nature intended!

  8. Corn on the cob hot off the grill.

  9. Gillian says:

    My favourite way to eat summer produce is raw, fresh and outside in the sun!

  10. Gillian says:
  11. Nicole E says:

    I just love picking fresh veggies from my garden. Making a salad or grilling veggies, then sharing them with those I love on a beautiful spring night on the back deck :-)

  12. My favorite way to eat fress produce is to drink it! Watermelon margaritas, strawberry daquaris, cucumber basil mojitos… Yum!

  13. Kelly G says:

    I love summer produce straight from the farmers market. No prep needed.

  14. My favorite way to eat summer produce is by experimenting with a new recipe. Although, I’ve also been known to gobble down green grapes and nectarines right when I get home from the store :)

  15. My favorite way to eat summer produce is grilled!

  16. Favorite way to eat summer produce? Right off the plant or vine!

  17. I tweeted :)

  18. Yay for summer! I too, love the farmers’ market! My favorite was to eat summer produce is hot off the grill! Grilled, corn, peppers, squash… nothing tastes better!

  19. Annnnnd Tweeted!

  20. Tomatoes off the vine, they usually don’t make it to the kitchen.

  21. Moroccan spins are the best kinds of spins! These patties sound exactly like the kind of thing I want for dinner…every night.

  22. The best way for me is in a green smoothie. I also love fresh veggies stir fried. I have never seen Le Creuset in stainless steel; so beautiful.

  23. I love salads!

  24. Straight off the tree/bush/vine! Summer produce needs so little futzing. Of course baking with it is always fun. ;)

  25. Jill S. says:

    I have a hard time getting peas I pick from the garden to the kitchen. I can’t resist them!

  26. I wouldn’t have thought of using lentils in this way. Neat idea!

    I think maybe raw produce is my favorite for summer. Especially tomatoes!

  27. Heather says:

    These sound delicious!

    I love my local farmers market peaches on the grill, I cut them in half, remove the pit, and I find it helps to skewer them. And top with vanilla ice cream from the dairy down the road.

  28. First off, this recipe sounds delicious. I have recently discovered that I love lentils so I’m looking forward to trying this.

    As for my favorite way to enjoy summer produce… I just love little yellow cherry tomatoes raw. I was not a tomato fan until I tried them last year, and now I’m hooked. I hope the farmers’ market has them again this year!

  29. I tweeted :D (my handle is @thechubbychi)

  30. Lynda Clark says:

    I am following you on Twitter and have Tweeted about this Giveaway.
    @lyndacooks Lynda Clark
    @HealthyDelish “I just entered to win a 3 QT Le Creuset Pot with Steamer Insert from @HealthyDelishhttp://tinyurl.com/3qp6oe4“
    http://twitter.com/#!/lyndacooks/status/71749250450591744

  31. Lynda Clark says:

    My very favorite way to eat most summer produce is steamed with either a lemon or herb mayonnaise or a vinaigrette.
    lyndaclark81@yahoo.com

  32. Maria Malaveci says:

    I love picking tomatoes from my mother’s garden… Yum! and of course sweet corn!

    mmalavec@med.umich.edu

  33. Maria Malaveci says:
  34. Tomatoes straight off the vine when they are still warm.

  35. Kristen says:

    My favorite way to eat summer produce is either raw with a bit of salt or roasted with feta cheese sprinkled on top. So good with so many types of summer veggies!

  36. Look and sound delicious. Always willing to try something new. Thanks for sharing.

  37. I love eating summer vegetables raw and freshly picked.

  38. My favorite way is fresh from the garden usually in some form of salad with a bbq’d veggie burger on the side :)

  39. Genevieve says:

    I love to eat produce from our garden fresh…especially ripe tomatoes! I also love grilling fruits and vegetables. I look forward to grilled corn on the cob all year!

  40. My favorite way for summer fruit is in pies. My favorite way to eat summer vegetable produce is to grill it.

  41. Katie F says:

    I love fresh tomato salad in the summer. I eat it as a base for almost everything :)

  42. I love them raw with a dip, or steamed with maggi sauce on them. Tomatoes, though …right off the vine after wiping on my sleeve. :)

  43. I’d love to hear more about Eat, Write, Retreat I wasn’t able to go but it sounded fantastic as does this recipe. Great post. I have been meaning to check out Northern Spy Food Company and now I must get there.

  44. Tweeted! @lisaeirene

  45. I like cooking fresh asparagus in the summer time. Adding a little Grapeseed Oil, salt, pepper and fresh parmesan and it’s delicious! Grilling zucchini and adding blue cheese to it is good too.

  46. I think the best way to use summer produce is to not do too much with it. the flavors are so perfect on their own when it’s fresh. A great salad with some fresh bread is my favorite meal.

    I also love grilling vegetables and chopping them up into a panzanella. Easy and delicious.

  47. delicious recipe and divine giveaway! my fave way to eat summer produce is raw, or grilled!

  48. Lisa @ Fit in the Midwest says:

    Definitely love eating summer produce grilled!

  49. I LOVE sauteeing zucchini in the summers.

    Or eating fresh sungold tomatoes straight off the vine.

  50. I love to put my veggies in the oven with some EVOO, S&P…yum! But when the summer comes, I like to put them on the grill.

  51. I love a lot of summer produce raw. Most veggies are good tossed with a little olive oil and garlic and then braised. Yummy!

  52. Hot off the grill!

  53. Mine is pasta salad–I love the variety!

  54. I tweeted! @TiffanyNico

  55. Donna B. says:

    Greek salad with quinoa, feta and lots of lemon – I use lots of my summer veggies in it! Tomatoes, cukes, red peppers, baby eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red onions, plus oregano, mint and thyme from my garden. YUM!!

  56. Donna B. says:
  57. Maria@La_Piattini says:

    I simply enjoy making a fruit salad with all summer fruits

  58. Maria@La_Piattini says:

    Tweeted from @LaPiattini

  59. Of course in a large salad! I love fresh summer produce!

  60. I love kale, so that drew me in, but these lentil patties sound super! I really want to try using lentils more often- this is the perfect place to start.

  61. I love to eat pasta salad loaded with tons of fresh produce, drizzle lightly with dressing!

  62. I like to push fresh spring veggies in risotto!

  63. i like a big fresh fruit salad–just chopped fruit, nothing else needed :)

  64. I people-watch like crazy at the airport…usually from a table at Starbucks :) Hope you enjoyed the conference! I like summer veggies either in a light pasta salad or grilled :)

  65. Kelly Justice says:

    I love to eat fresh, sweet Corn on the Cob without even cooking it! I tried it at the encouragement of the farmer whose market I had stopped at. Reluctant at first, I quickly became sold on the cool, crisp way of eating corn on the cob! :)

  66. Ohhhhhhh I love to grill fresh fruit and make a salsa for fish

  67. These remind me of my recipe for lentil goat cheese burgers, but I love the Moroccan flavor profile you’ve infused.

  68. Alicia Keen says:

    My favorite way is to bake zucchini as boats: carve out the inside and cover lightly with Smart Balance, then top with garlic, salt and pepper. DELICIOUS!

  69. Alicia Keen says:

    I tweeted! @alicia_keen

  70. Valerie says:

    I love to eat grilled asparagus! Num!

  71. I love grilling up a big batch of peppers, squash, zucchini, and eggplant and making salads and sandwiches with them using locally made goats cheese and/or mozzarella. It was great to meet you at EWR!

  72. I love fresh corn on the cob

    annnnnnd I tweeted ;)

  73. green beans roasted with shallots – olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground black pepper. heaven.

  74. Hi Lauren! I just discovered your blog via 5secondrule. I love it! My favorite way to eat kale (one of my fave spring/summer veggies) is by making kale chips! http://tinyurl.com/43cjz7n

    I have a question for you…how do you find out about things like the pea and lentil challenge? I would love to get more involved with contests and giveaways like this, but I have no clue where to get started! Thanks in advance for any advice!

  75. Those pans are gorgeous. My favorite way to eat summer produce is warm, right from the garden!

  76. donsterb says:

    stir fried

  77. donsterb says:
  78. Raw or grilled

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