Shopping seasonally brings me a great number of joys. The sweetest kale in the winter frost, the first spears of asparagus in spring, soft summer peaches and autumnal chestnuts. But with the joy of these first arrivals, comes the pain of an absent staple. The hardest time of year for me is at the end of winter when the supply of bulbs of garlic has finished and the new crop hasn’t yet been pulled. Thankfully, after a short break though the farmers market has young garlic. Some people sell it as salad garlic, and some people as spring garlic. My understanding is that this garlic is picked before the garlic bulb is formed. It looks like a leek or spring onion. My most recent and exciting discovery is how you can use the garlic greens. Treat them the way you would spring onion, or big garlic chives. I’ve been coming up with all sorts of waste-not want-not ways to use them. My favourite recipe so far has been these lentil and kale patties.
These patties are the epitome of seasonal cooking. A friend bought me some kale that had overgrown in the garden. It was my favourite Tuscan black cabbage, but old and woody, it was too fibrous to sautee the way I usually would. In weather like this I can really appreciate the larder’s store of pulses and grains. I think the French puy green lentils have a wonderful earthy flavour that works perfectly with kale.
Make a batch of these patties, cooking them till they’re just golden and put them in the fridge or freezer to use any time you want. They make a great office lunch, heated through in a sandwich press and added to a pre-made roll and they’re great to have in the fridge for a mid-week dinner, or add them to a picnic hamper to heat up on a BBQ in the park. The patties are vegan and gluten free so you can mix them up with them up to meet everyone’s dietary needs. Put them between gluten free bread when needed. Satisfy the carnivores by serving them with some crisp bacon, mayonnaise, lettuce and sun dried tomatoes. Drop the bacon and use vegan mayo if that’s more your thing. Or drop the mayo and serve a delicious vegan burger with smashed avocado, lettuce and sun dried tomatoes.
Makes 6-8 patties
|½||cup||French green puy lentils|
|1||bunch||Tuscan black cabbage|
|1||bunch||young garlic, greens only|
|2||tablespoons||besan (chickpea) flour|
|olive oil, for frying|
Place the lentils in a bowl and cover generously with cold water. Leave them to soak for 12-24 hours.
Roughly chop the kale and garlic greens and place them in food processor with the sea salt. Blitz to course paste.
Drain the lentils well and add most of them to the food processor. Blitz till the lentils are broken down to a course paste then add the chickpea flour and remaining lentils. Blitz till combined.
Press the mixture inside an egg ring to make patties of an even size and height. Place a non stick frying pan on medium heat and cover the base with a generous amount of olive oil. Gently press the patties out of the egg rings into the hot oil and gently fry them until the outside of the patty goes crisp. Don’t let them take on too much colour though. Set the patties aside to drain and cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
When you want to eat a patty, remove it from the fridge and reheat it in a sandwich press, or in a dry frying pan. Serve in your desired bun with your choice of the fillings mentioned above.