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Provencal Lentil BurgersEgads folks. I am STILL without an oven. Well, a whole oven. The good bit of the oven where you put the big pots, and post in lots of trays of things to bake and roast.

Sorry if I am being too technical, but I just can’t help myself. You know me – such a tech head. Joke.Provencal Lentil BurgersToday I’ve been all geared up for a delivery from the most welcoming van in the UK – the big green John Lewis van. I was so looking forward to greeting my shiny new Neff oven, and the two nice men who were going to put it in. Heck I had even brushed my hair. On a day off. I know, right?

It was all going so well. The chaps duly arrived – near as damn it to the very minute they indicated. Oh, how my pulse began to race. I could hardly wait to put the oven through its paces: would it burn the kale I had on standby to make into chips? (a good test of an oven, I should think); would I be able to hear the timer go off while watching Big Bang Theory reruns (crucial)? Cakes and roasted veggies could wait. I had a date with some kale chips and Sheldon Cooper first.

The men soon interrupted my reverie by asking all kinds of impertinent questions, such as ‘where’s your oven circuit switch?’ (Uh, dunno. What’s that?) and the classic, ‘how many amps is your current oven?’ Sorry?

Responding to my profound ignorance with good grace and only the slyest hint of a smile, they pulled out the old oven. A shameful shower of ossified crumbs zinged to the floor from underneath as they set about installing the new oven. Before too long I heard the dreaded “Mrs Anderson. We have a problem.”

I know that in the matrix of possible problems one can have what came next is not really a problem. I get that. But from being on a weird sort of “I have a new major appliance” high to “oh, that’s okay. It’s not your fault we have inadequate ampage (is that a word?) for you to install my precious, gleaming temple of instant heat. Just leave it useless and impotent in the guest bedroom until I can get an electrician to dig under my floor with a mile of new cabling so my new oven doesn’t blow up. That’s fine.” Well, I was kinda bummed. Still am.

Yes, I am a bit passive-aggressive today.

lentil burger

no, it’s not burnt!

Thankfully I have a very kind neighbour with connections in the mysterious world of electricians. Tommy has done the near impossible and is arranging for a mate of his to come out tonight at 8 for a look-see. I am expecting a bit of teeth sucking and head shaking, but I am prepared for that. Just getting someone who knows about amps and isolator thingy whats-its is good enough at this point. Perhaps next post I will have a cake to show you. Or some shiny, crispy GREEN kale chips. For now it is the tiny non-fan oven and my gas hob.

One thing that isn’t bumming me out is turning 50 yesterday. That was really okay. I don’t suddenly feel decrepit (I’ve felt that way for ages already) or especially wrinkly. I did however get an invitation for bowel screening last week. Why they don’t wait one more week until you are actually 50, I don’t know. I could have done without that. I am half-expecting an invitation to buy Saga insurance to land on the doormat any day now…

So to these burgers. They are pretty darn good. They don’t quite make up for not having an oven, but close.

I’m not sure where the idea came from. I occasionally do the old black bean burger thing (love them) but I had some leftover lentils and quinoa and thought they would make nice burgers. And then I started craving something salty and thought I would whizz up some tapenade (as you do, obviously). Then there was tiny click in my mind. Unlike the big bang that happened in my oven. So I just started messing about and et voila, Provencal Lentil Burgers.

These use homemade tapenade, but you could of course use bought (it usually has anchovies though, so watch out if you are vegan). I felt I needed to amp up (geddit?) the savoury with extra olives, as well as some fresh herbs – to complement the herbes de Provence. Quinoa and lentils both need help, I think, and this kind of help seems to really work. You be the judge though. Oh, and I used an egg to bind, but I just know that a chia or flax ‘egg’ would work just fine.

I must also confess – and you can see for yourself – that they look alarmingly like Scottish black pudding. For those of a sensitive disposition I will save you from yourself by not putting a hyperlink to the definition of black pudding. Don’t even think about googling it, okay?

So folks, I am crossing my fingers that the only big bangs tonight will be on the telly. Wish me luck! Best go now and brush my hair. Again.

Provencal Lentil BurgersProvencal Lentil Burgers with Tapenade and Carottes Râpées

Last year: Honey-Miso Roasted Broccoli and Wholegrains Salad

Two years ago: Pasta with Purple-Sprouting Broccoli and Chili-Lemon Crumbs

Three years ago: Carrot and Celeriac Soup

Miss R’s track of the week: Foxes cover Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ on BBC Radio One Live Lounge (with clever sampling of Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’)

I doubt anyone in Provence makes anything like this, but the flavours are so stereotypically Provencal that I should be posting this in a field of lavender!

This is a good recipe for using leftover cooked Puy (or Puy-type) lentils and quinoa, although making them just for the recipe is easy enough.

The fancy sounding carrot thing is a simple shredded carrot salad that you see all over France. It is one of those things that when on holiday in France we will buy a tub of, and it seems to go with everything. Of course it is much better to make it yourself. Same with tapenade, but the lentil burgers will happily cosy up with pretty much anything you normally like on a burger. You can even crumble the cooked burgers onto a pile of thinly peeled or shredded vegetables – carrots, courgettes, radish – for a pseudo pasta dish with a difference. We had it on crispy Gem lettuce as well as some (bought) olive and pumpkin seed bread. 

Makes about 10 burgers (they reheat well; the mix keeps too); one ‘jam’ jar of tapenade; one small salad

1 tsp rapeseed oil or plain olive oil

2 stalks celery, finely minced

4 spring onions/green onions/scallions, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 1/2  tbsp herbes de Provence or dried mixed herbs

2 cups (335g) cooked Puy or Puy-type lentils

2 cups (325g) cooked and cooled quinoa (I used red, but any colour is fine)*

2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 egg, beaten OR chia/flax egg

¼ cup tapenade

10-12 sliced Kalamata or Nicoise olives

Freshly ground black pepper

Oil for frying

Gently sauté the chopped celery, spring onions and garlic until soft; add the dried herbs and heat through until they release their fragrance. Set aside to cool a little.

Put two-thirds each of the cooked lentils and quinoa in the bowl of a food processor, along with the thyme leaves, parsley, egg and tapenade. Pulse until just blended – about eight pulses. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, as necessary. Now add in the rest of the lentils and quinoa and pulse 2-3 times.

Scrape the lentil burger mix into a mixing bowl and stir in the chopped olives and black pepper. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour, or overnight if you like.

Heat a little oil (remember the patties are full of olives and tapenade so have oil themselves) in a frying pan over a medium heat. Shape the burgers and cook in batches for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until lightly crispy. Transfer the cooked burgers to a paper-towel or cloth-lined plate and cook the remaining burgers.

Note: watch the burgers as they may burn if the temperature is too high or you leave them too long. I wandered off on the first batch to check my phone and BAM, very done burgers. Not burnt, but flirting with burnt. Still delicious! I also had success with just some oil spray and then popping onto an oven tray and slipping them into a moderately hot (top) oven for a few minutes. They are not the most solid of burgers so take care when flipping.

* 1 cup (175g) raw quinoa makes about 3 ½ cups (565g) cooked quinoa. Make this amount, use 2 cups, and have leftovers for salady things for your lunch! (see Index for ideas).


Makes one ‘jam’ jar of tapenade. You will use about 1/3 in the recipe above. Don’t quote me though. To store, cover the top with olive oil, close the lid tightly and store in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

200g whole Nicoise or Kalamata olives (I could only get Kalamata)

3 tbsp capers – rinsed if salted; otherwise drained

1 fat clove of garlic (smoked is very nice)

2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley

Juice of ½ lemon

4 tbsp of best extra virgin olive oil

Stone the olives. Although I have an old-fashioned cherry stoner I tend to just use the back of a heavy chef’s knife – WHACK – on a few olives at a time, and pull out the dazed and stunned olive stone. Pop the stoned olives in a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until just shy of smooth. A little texture is good

Salade de Carottes Râpées (Carrot Salad)

A classic French salad that goes with everything. I have done the slightly sacrilegious thing of adding a little grain mustard, but don’t tell anyone.; it’s not really supposed to be spiky. Adjust the sugar and mustard (if using) to your liking. Heck, adjust it all to your liking.

Makes a small bowl of salad to use as a garnish for the burgers.

2 flavourful large carrots

small handful of roughly chopped parsley

Juice ½ lemon

2 tbsp best extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tsp sugar or honey

salt and pepper to taste

½ tsp wholegrain or Dijon mustard (optional)

Shred the carrots and mix with the chopped parsley. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the carrots; toss to mix. Eat immediately or thereabouts.lentil burger

41 thoughts on “Provencal Lentil and Quinoa Burgers with Tapenade (grain-free/easily vegan)

  1. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Oh darn, don’t you hate it when those things happen! Crossing my fingers that there is minimum head shaking and teeth sucking, Kellie xo

  2. cheri says:

    We had similar things happen to us when we remodeled our kitchen Oh the horror! But hey, now it’s all good. Love these quinoa burger, pinned and printed. Will be making these for dinner tomorrow.

    1. Thanks so much Cheri. I am getting a lot of similar comments about the kitchen experience. Hopefully we are all cooking and baking safely now. And thanks for the recipe love. I appreciate it 😉

  3. Same thing happened to me with my new oven …I was going from electric to gas and you apparently have to get a specially certified guy (or gal) to install….it took forever!! Hope thing come right soon.
    So you’re OLDER than I am ??? Damn…I thought I looked good for my age! (I’ll be 50 in 25 days)
    Happy belated BDAY and I hope your beautiful daughter realizes how lucky she is to have a live-in personal chef that rocks it.
    And thanks for this great recipe!!

    1. You look fab! And you will always be younger than me 😉 Oven in and ready for action. Just gotta read the darn instructions. I hate instruction books…

  4. I love the flavor combination in this veggie burger!! Do you find using lentils over beans in veggie burgers helps with the texture? I always use beans and they get soft and then the burger is a bit mushy sometimes. I feel like lentils would be firmer?? What do u think about that?

    1. Sorry for the late reply. I have been away and am rubbish at ‘writing on my phone,’ if you know what I mean. Lentils work very very well but they will still not hold like meat burgers as the texture is always going to be more open. But with the quinoa (the different fibers) I had pretty good luck in the holding-together department. Chilling them thoroughly is a must, I would think.I didn’t need to use any breadcrummbs to bind but that might be a good insurance policy. Hope this helps – even if belated. Let me know if you try them and how they were. Thanks!

  5. Chloerissa says:

    Reblogged this on Gluten Free Advice and commented:
    Some awesome burgers to try! I love the combination of ingredients.

  6. You’re 50???? Now way! You look amazing! A very happy birthday to you, Kellie, and let’s hope we read in your next post about your wonderful newly installed and working oven!! X

    1. Aw, thanks Elaine. Oven in and still not feeling old! I just hope the instruction booklet font isn’t too small, or I WILL feel decrepit!

      1. Ha ha!!

      2. =-p xxx

  7. Looks delicious, especially with the tapenade. And happy birthday, Kellie! You certainly don’t look it! And my grandmother always used to say “you’re only as old as you feel; if you feel good don’t let your mind tell you otherwise”.

    1. Your grandmother is a wise woman. Only my old bones (I have arthritis) let me down. Otherwise I fell terrific and much more comfortable with who I am than even 10 years ago. Sally (My Custard Pie) agrees. 50 is not to be feared. Thanks for commenting, Katie 😉

  8. Shannon Lim says:

    I’m nodding my head as I read along the lines, I’m also just as hopeless with the ampage and wiring. I’ve not tried vegetarian burger, and I love that cheese is not needed to bind the patty. even though it’s a bit of work with tapenade, i think it’s worth it with the look on your daugther’s face. bookmarked to try.

    1. Bought tapenade is of course absolutely fine – espesh if it is French in origin. Thanks for commenting and bookmarking, Shannon 😉

  9. How frustrating! These little things are, as you pointed out, not the end of the world, but I can relate to how annoying it is, ESPECIALLY after brushing your hair. I remember one time arranging to have professional carpet cleaners in to do our old apartment while the hus was out of town, and when the chap turned up he informed me he could do a quote but not the cleaning because our building didn’t have an elevator and he wasn’t allowed to lug the heavy machine up the stairs himself (and I wasn’t allowed to help). I think I spent an entire afternoon in irrational tears over that! And then the next week when another fellow showed up with the same machine (apparently there is a different one for lift-less apartment buildings) and cheerfully lugged it up the stairs and did the job, I gave him a HUGE tip I was so grateful.

    Anyhow, I’m sure the situation is not unresolvable, and you’ve got these great burgers to tide you over. I’ve done a lentil and quinoa patty before (bound together with sweet potato) and they were delish. It’s been far too long since I’ve had a stash of protein rich veggie patties in my freezer, and I think these are just the ones to make. Just need to pick up some lentils and I’ve got everything else ready. Another winning recipe, Kellie!

    1. That sounds like quite a palaver (i love that word, if not the meaning), Katie. Luckily the oven is now in (put in in our absence, so even better) and I am raring to go with it – later today, when I am doing my cooking for the nutrition classes. And I saw the ping back and your tweet about your own veggie burgers. I hate it when that happens. Best wishes for another batch!

  10. Mouthwatering recipe as always! :*

    1. Thank you!

  11. Deena Kakaya says:

    There is a lot of beauty in this post. Firstly, the burgers are comfortingly dark, pale looking burgers make me feel queasy as I have tasted cornflour and raw veg on many a pale-burger trial. Secondly, your daughter is just as lovely as you…blessed.

    Good luck with that oven, I am throughly on unfriendly terms with mine and cant wait to ditch it.

    1. Well we thought ours was going to lose the will to live at Christmas, but before that I had been wiling mine to pack it in. It was 15 years old and obviously was well-used. I am glad to report that the new oven is in, although I have yet to cook anything in it (we only just arrived home last night and it is not yet 9 am). And ugh with the raw cornflour! Yuck!

  12. I’ve had mixed success w/ making veggie patties, but I love every single thing about these yummy lentil and quinoa burgers! Not to mention that carrot salad 🙂 I feel your oven/house falling apart pain. We just fixed our leaky pool, but now our spa heater is on the fritz. Oh, and the hallway lights that we haven’t been able to turn off for six month are now properly working, but our downstairs playroon lights wont turn off now either. As you might imagine, besides the cost of fixing these things, we now owe both the gas & electric {where Mr. Spicy works!} AND the water companies ridiculous amounts of money! Sigh…I’ll take a veggie burger please 🙂

    1. Poor you! I hope all of the house matters get sorted and that you even have some money left! re the veggie burgers, the Puy lentils and quinoa – pulsed lightly – really seem to hold better than other versions I have made. Maybe I will see a spicy rd version???

  13. Mmm, yum. Only Rach could look so glam piling food into her mouth! Hope your electrics get fixed up pronto x

    1. Thanks Miss Niki. I will let her see your comment. I doubt she will agree!

  14. Urvashi Roe says:

    Ha ha! I love how you have no patience for the installation blokes! I do love this recipe too. Looks so easy and very filling. Perfect for hubby who is on a “eat-once-a-day-and-it-has-to-be-protein” diet

    1. Well the oven is in and awaiting its first meal! I arrived back from your neck of the woods to find my gleaming oven and a long instruction booklet 😉 I hope your hubby likes the burgers. Maybe your daughters would like them too??

  15. Jess says:

    Looks absolutely delicious! Love all the colours and freshness 🙂

  16. hoytapeo says:

    I have heard talking about vegan burgers and I would never imagine that they look so delicious.

  17. Sally says:

    Happy, happy birthday Kellie. Nearly one year older than you and felt brilliant about the milestone (unlike 40). You look incredible. I was without an oven for over 6 weeks and got very good at cooking everything on my gas barbecue outside 🙂 Love, love,love ‘Happy’ Pharrell, the Live Lounge and Massive Attack. You have such good taste my dear.

    1. Hi Sally, Thank you. I am ‘happy’ to report that I just arrived back fmor London to find my oven installed and no mess. Now all I need to do is settle down with the instruction manual and see if this 50 year-old brain can fathom the instructions! I don’t feel any different, but yes 50 is better than 40. Odd that. Cheers to us half-century gals!

  18. Sounds so good!

  19. narf77 says:

    What an excellent post! To think I almost missed it as I contemplated purging my massively overloaded RSS Feed Reader that I have been shunning in order to take part in the real world for a week or so…LOVE Parrells “Happy”. It makes ME happy 🙂 This is a particularly lovely (and clever) version indeed :). Miss R is gorgeous and certainly looks incredibly “Happy” eating your wonderful creation. Keep up the good work ma’am, we, the harried and hurried depend on you! 🙂

  20. Fi Matthews says:

    Quinoa… i keep on hearing that its one of those “superfoods” If its possible to make burgers out of it.. then the kids will eat it..
    So they will be getting healthy food without knowing it.. 1-0 to cunning Mum

    1. I dare you!

  21. You look FAB for fifty and as Sally says, it is not the old and past it milestone it used to be, and I know as I am 5+ yrs past 50!
    GREAT post and I had a similar incident when my Aga was delivered 9 years ago, the floor was NOT man enough for the weight and we had to tunnel underneath and add more reinforced concrete as an Aga Foundation!
    THANKS for adding this beauty of a recipe into Cooking with Herbs, and as a burger fan, and not JUST meat, this has my name all over it!

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