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Split-Pea-and-Ham Burgers

(recipe, Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough)

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Serve these patties on buns with mayo and mustard on the side — or serve them atop a green salad with halved grapes and minced celery, all dressed in a lemony vinaigrette.


  1. 2½ cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
  2. 1 cup dried split peas
  3. 6 Tbsp. short-grain white rice, such as sushi rice
  4. 12 oz. smoked, wet-cured ham, any sugary coating removed, the meat chopped
  5. ½ cup all-purpose flour
  6. 4 medium scallions, minced
  7. ½ tsp. ground cumin
  8. ½ tsp. ground coriander
  9. ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  10. Up to ½ cup almond or peanut oil


  1. Stir up the broth, split peas, and rice in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 1 hour.
  2. Transfer the split-pea mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the ham, flour, scallions, cumin, coriander, and pepper. The mixture will be thick and pasty.
  3. Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet. Scoop up about ⅓ cup of the split-pea mixture and form it into a patty. You may need to wet your hands to keep the mixture from sticking too much. Place three or four patties in the skillet — as many as will fit without crowding — and fry until brown and crisp, about 8 minutes, turning once with a flat spatula halfway through frying. Transfer these patties to a serving plate, add another couple of tablespoons of oil to the skillet, and fry up more patties, repeating this process until you’ve used up all the split-pea mixture.