Lentil Goat Cheese Burgers

Even though it's the dead of winter, sometimes you just have to have a burger.  Since we've been enjoying the meatless meals lately, we decided to give this recipe a try from Elly Says Opa!, adapted from Cara's Cravings, both of which I very much enjoy!  We had a bit of trouble keeping them together, but even though they weren't perfectly shaped, they tasted great.  The consistency reminded me of the first time we tried to make falafel.  I definitely plan to make these again sometime, but maybe next time, we'll make "slider" sized burgers and see if they hold their shape a little better.

3/4 cup Dried Lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 Bay Leaf
2 teaspoons Olive Oil, divided
1 Leek, sliced
1/3 cup Onion, diced
1/2 cup Mushrooms, sliced
1 Carrot, grated
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
2 ounces Goat Cheese
6 tablespoons Panko Breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Basil
1/8 teaspoon Thyme
1 Egg

Place the lentils in a saucepan with water and a bay leaf.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain the lentils and remove the bay leaf.  Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute the onions, mushrooms, garlic, and carrot for about 5-6 minutes, or until softened.  Add the balsamic vinegar, increase the heat, and let the vinegar reduce.  Combine the lentils, sauteed vegetables, and remaining ingredients in a food processor.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pulse several times to combine.  Place the mixture in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate 45 minutes or overnight.  Divide the mixture into 4 patties.  Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Place the patties in the skillet and cook for about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.