Lentil & Rice Patties with Dates, Pomegranate & Feta

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If I don’t post this recipe now, it might very well never be posted. So here we go. In between work trips, chickenpox, writing and photographing a new book (that we will tell you more about really soon!) and living a regular two-kids family life, these little patties happened. We made them for an impromptu lunch and they turned out really tasty so we snapped a few photos and planned to test them again (like we normally do) before posting the recipe. But after more than a week of postponing, I’m realising that the recipe will prove itself more useful in your kitchens than at the desktop of our computer.

When Luise made these patties, she called them “a classical vegetarian dish”. I suspect she referred to the fact that all vegetarians always seem to be on the lookout for new takes on veggie patties. Our Spinach & Quinoa Patties have been on frequent rotation in our house, but I quite like the richness that the lentils and brown rice added to these. Exactly what we need during the winter.

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These patties also have some important nutritional aspects, so Luise is taking over the computer now to explain them: Lentils and rice are always a good combination as they make a complete protein source, which is important for vegetarians. Most plant sources of protein are in fact, incomplete, with the exception of soybeans and quinoa. Therefore, grains such as rice, oats, wheat, rye and corn, can act as complementary proteins for legumes such as lentils. Choose whole grains and if you have time I highly recommend to soak grains and legumes (lentils, peas, beans, nuts and seeds) before cooking. It helps to break down enzyme inhibitors (among many other benefits) and optimise the nutritional value, for example will the minerals be way easier absorbed in your body. /Luise

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While the patties are quite mildly flavoured, we went a bit bolder with the presentation. We served them in lettuce leaves with dates, pistachios, herbs and pomegranate on top. Apart from looking stunning, those flavours are truly awesome together. Sweet dates, salty pistachios and creamy yogurt together with the fresh juices that splashes on your tongue as you bite into the pomegranate seeds. Divine!

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Lentil & Rice Patties with Dates, Pomegranate & Feta
Makes 15 patties

We have only made this recipe once so we haven’t had time to try a vegan version, but the mushy lentils should make it quite possible. Non-vegans could also choose to incorporate a piece of feta cheese in the patties for extra flavour. We cooked lentils and rice from scratch, but fridge leftovers are ideal in this recipe.

1 cup red split lentils (preferable pre-soaked, but not necessary)
2 cups water
a pinch of sea salt

1 cup whole grain rice (preferable pre-soaked, but not necessary)
2 cups water
a pinch of sea salt

1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 tbsp finely chopped mixed parsley, cilantro and mint (save some for serving)
1 carrot, grated

1 tsp sea salt and pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
2 eggs
3 tsp potato starch
zest from 1/2 lemon

coconut oil, ghee, butter or olive oil for frying

for serving
roman lettuce
pomegranate seeds
chopped herbs
pistachios, finely chopped

dates, pitted
yogurt
feta cheese

Place the washed and rinsed rice, water and salt in a saucepan, bring to boil, lower the heat and cook for about 30-40 minutes. Check the package for the exact cooking time. Meanwhile, place the washed and rinsed lentils, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until well cooked and a bit mushy. Pour the cooked lentils in a large mixing bowl. Prepare the other ingredients and place everything in the mixing bowl together with the cooked lentils. Stir to combine. Drain the cooked rice, if necessary and then add it to the mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir again. Heat coconut oil in a skillet and form 15 patties with a spoon. Fry for just a couple of minutes on each side, until golden and crispy on the outside.

Serve the patties warm or chilled in lettuce leaves with feta cheese, pomegranate, dates, yogurt, herbs and pistachios.

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PS! A couple of weeks ago, Food52 came by for lunch, an interview and to shoot a few photos of our kitchen. And it’s now up on their site, if you want to have a peek.

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