Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lentil Spread

Serve this spread with crusty Italian bread instead of olive oil - it takes a dinner party up several notches!

Combine 2 cups water and 3/4 cup dried lentils (I used green but I suppose any kind would do) in a saucepan; bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes.

The original recipe did not specify whether or not to drain the lentils at the end, which had me perplexed; either I wasn't supposed to, or I should have cooked them longer until all the liquid was absorbed. Seeing as I did have excess water, I drained it off, then transfered the lentils to a large bowl, and this seems to have been the right choice. Mash them to the consistency you prefer - a potato masher comes in handy here. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots and 1 tablespoon minced garlic; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the shallot mixture to the lentils, along with 1/2 cup chopped and peeled tomato, 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons chopped basil and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Don't forget the easy way to peel a tomato - score an X on the bottom of the tomato, and place in boiling water for between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Transfer to ice water to stop the cooking process. The skin will then peel right off. Although the original recipe did not specify to seed the tomato as well, I did, because I feared my spread would be too watery otherwise.

Stir all the ingredients to combine, and cool the spread to room temperature before serving. 1/4 cup is 60 calories - like I said, it's delicious slathered over Italian bread!

dried lentils $2.49
tomato $1.19
green onions $0.99
basil $2.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance