Sunday, April 22, 2007

Warm Lentil Dip

Full of big flavors, really healthy and a vegan recipe, to boot!

2 cups yellow lentils
1 medium onion, diced
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons season salt or slightly less sea salt (to taste)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
2 heaping tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, skin and seeds removed and diced (can use good quality bottled)
Cayenne pepper, several dashes-- to taste
Salt to taste

1) Place the lentils and onion in a medium size sauce pan and cover with water (about 1 inch above lentils). Bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat and gently simmer for ½ an hour. Watch that the water stays above the lentils. Add more if needed.
2) After 30 minutes, add ½ teaspoon cumin seed to the lentils, add more water if needed and continue cooking for 30 minutes more.
3) After 1 hour cooking time, check to see if the lentils are tender, if not, continue cooking (covered in water) until they are tender. If they are tender (and they should be), drain almost all of the water off the lentils, leaving just 1 or so tablespoons. Run a hand-held stick mixer through the lentils to puree them, or transfer to a food processor or blender and process until just slightly lumpy—not perfectly smooth.
4) Transfer to a bowl and season with salt, extra virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, fresh herbs, chopped roasted pepper, Cayenne pepper, salt. Stir everything together and serve immediately—it should be served warm. May be made ahead and reheated in the microwave, just add a bit more water and/or olive oil if it has dried out at all.

Serve with toasted pita bread chips, bread sticks or baguette croutons. Makes about 2 cups

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