Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lentil Fritter Pitas with Red Cabbage Slaw

Did summer fly by for anyone else? There are about 18 million summer things that I never got around to. Farmers’ Markets that went unvisited, rivers that did not get kayaked, nights that we did not sit out on the patio talking, meals that did not get grilled (in part because our grill was confiscated by the fire marshal). June was a haze. Nothing happened in July since Joe was working nights and was either at the hospital or asleep. August was finishing CPE, and now it’s September with fall just around the corner.

Football has started, and there are cans of pumpkin in my pantry that never were used last year. But it’s still 90-something degrees and unbearably humid. I’m not ready for fall because I didn’t really get a summer, even though I love fall. It’s the best running season This is a great summer meal: colorful, light flavors like cilantro and lemon. So if you want to cling to summer for a few weeks longer, or if you’re forced to by the weather, go ahead and sneak this one under the line. Before chunky sweaters and boots, before tailgating, before apples and pumpkin and butternut squash and chili, have some red cabbage and lentils and parsley.

2012-08-21 19.32.49

Lentil Fritter Pitas with Red Cabbage Slaw
adapted from Real Simple
Yields 4 servings


3 cups cooked lentils
1/2  cup  fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for serving
1/2  cup  fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1  clove garlic, finely chopped
2 eggs
1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
1/2  cup  bread crumbs
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4  head red cabbage, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
3  tablespoons  olive oil
1/2  cup  low-fat Greek yogurt
1/4  teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more for serving
4  pocketless pitas, warmed


  1. In a food processor, puree half of the lentils with the cilantro, parsley, garlic, and cumin until nearly smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the bread crumbs, the remaining lentils, the eggs, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Form into sixteen ½-inch-thick patties.
  2. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, lightly mash the cabbage with the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, crushed red pepper, and a splash of water. Adjust consistency to preference. 
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook the patties until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side, adding the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet for the second batch.
  4. Dividing evenly, top each pita with the patties, cabbage mixture, yogurt sauce, and the additional cilantro and crushed red pepper.