If you know me fairly well, then you will know of the huge pile of cookbooks I own. Let’s say two huge piles. It’s become a bit of an addiction of mine. I’m that person who reads cookbooks from front to back and whenever I have a spare moment will happily flick through. Each birthday and Christmas I will, rest assured, add one or two new additions to my collection and swiftly forget about the others. Brutal, I know. I do have my absolute favourites though, that I return to time and time again, the tried and tested which are guaranteed to please. But even those recipes are few and far between, saved for when we are feeding guests or want a dish that I know will be a knockout, no stressin’! The rest of the time is dictated by what I’ve seen on blogs, TV, Instagram and most importantly the contents of my fridge.
That’s where the magic is!
At lunch I always feel the need for a falafel or patty, whatever you name it, something to finish off my bowl of veggies and grains and that will sit nicely with that obligatory hummus dollop. I always have the intention of making some but then get too hungry so end up going without or I don’t have any beans or grains already cooked (the whole point of a recipe like this is for making something out of the leftovers). Often too, I’ve had the intention of making a big batch to freeze but they end up dry, only palatable if smothered in a TONNE of dressing (make it a tahini one and its not a bad thing). I suppose given that I don’t follow recipes and add a little bit of this, take out that as we don’t have any in the cupboard, it’s guaranteed that many of my attempts will end up in the bin. It’s all a process of learning, except for those times when you don’t remember your mistakes and make them numerous times. The EXACT SAME ONES. Been there.
This occasion however was a day for success. Thank the food gods.
These carrot and lentil patties, came out unscathed, crunchy on the outside, and just what my lunch bowl was needing. Here I used some french lentils that I had overcooked, but any other beans or lentils would suffice just make sure to give them a bit of a mash first. The grated carrot could be changed to courgette or beetroot, any fresh herbs, omit the cheese all together or use more or less (I would’ve added more but it was the end of the block) feta would be nice, as would cheddar or some Parmesan. I haven’t tried making something like this without egg, it’s a great binding agent, but I’d assume a flax egg would work in the same way. And if they don’t hold together, well it just won’t be a plate to photo for Instagram I suppose. Sandwich in between your favourite bread or in a wrap, these would also be brilliant bites for a savoury energy ball. I find snacks rely too heavily upon dates and nuts, so one or two of these would be a great alternative.
Carrot and lentil patties
- 1 cup of lentils
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated/crumbled cheese
- Handful of fresh herbs, any mixture of basil, parsley, coriander, mint
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp oats
- Salt and pepper
- 1 egg
- Polenta for coating
- Put the lentils in a large bowl and mash slightly so half are crushed and half are still left whole.
- On a box grater grate the carrot and add to the bowl along with the cheese.
- Finely chop the herbs and add to the lentil mixture along with the spices, oats and some seasoning and mix well.
- Crack in the egg and mix again to form quite a wet mixture.
- Leave in the fridge for at least 30 mins to firm up slightly.
- Heat the oven to 200/180C fan and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or a silicone sheet.
- With damp hands form the lentil mixture into 8 patties and place on the baking sheet.
- Brush with some oil and sprinkle over the polenta, this is what will give the crunch.
- Bake in the oven for 15 mins until firm and slightly golden.
- Will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for a few months.
Side note: if you plan on freezing the patties, bake for a little less time, around 10-12 mins then leave to cool before freezing. Place back in the oven when you want some from frozen until crispy and piping hot in the middle, this will ensure that they won’t dry out.
So here’s to happier lunchtimes and turning those droopy leftovers into something new.
Get rolling those patties!!