Lentil Cakes with Feta-Yogurt Sauce and Cucumber-Cress Salad

Lentil Cakes with Feta-Yogurt Sauce and Cucumber-Cress Salad
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
8 cakes

Inspired by falafel, these Lentil Cakes with Feta-Yogurt Sauce and Cucumber-Cress Salad are made from a purée of raw red lentils, harissa, and scallions.


  • 1 cup red lentils

  • 3 scallions, pale-green and white parts chopped; greens thinly sliced on bias

  • 1 tablespoon harissa

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

  • Coarse salt

  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white

  • 2 ½ ounces goat's-milk or sheep's-milk feta cheese, crumbled (½ cup)

  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • teaspoon finely grated garlic (from 1 small clove)

  • ½ English cucumber, cut into half-moons (1 cup)

  • ½ ounce upland cress or watercress (1 cup)

  • ¼ ounce fresh mint leaves (½ cup)

  • 2 teaspoons safflower oil


  1. Cover lentils with 2 inches cold water. Soak 4 hours at room temperature or up to 1 day in refrigerator. Drain well. Pulse pale-green and white parts of scallions in a food processor until minced. Add harissa, turmeric, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and egg and egg white; pulse to combine. Add lentils; puree until almost smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl, and stir in a little more than half the feta.

  2. Whisk remaining feta, the yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl. Combine cucumber, cress, and mint in another bowl.

  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place a scant tablespoon of scallion greens in pan, and spoon about an eighth of the batter on top, spreading to make a 3-inch cake. Repeat, making 4 cakes at a time. Cook until golden brown, flipping once, about 6 minutes. Add remaining teaspoon oil, and repeat.

  4. Divide sauce among 4 plates; top with salad. Place cakes next to greens, and serve.

Cook's Notes

Going Green
Peppery cress is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, and other powerful cancer-fighting compounds.

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