|Spicy Red Lentil Dip|
offered to bring any appetizer our hostess wished. She left the
choice up to me, stating that I should bring whatever I’d be cooking for The
‘ordinary’, despite its variations.
Instead, I opted to make ‘Spiced Red Lentil
Dip – or Spread’. When one thinks of red lentils, they usually associate it with soup or, if
you’re Armenian, vospov kufteh.
quickly, are nutritious, and make a surprisingly delicious substitute for hummus!
stores) NOTE: tomato paste may be substituted.
or parsley leaves
lentils, removing any foreign particles.
tsp. salt in a medium saucepan. Add about 4 cups of water to cover the
lentils. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, stirring now and then. As
a foamy residue rises to the top, remove and discard it using a slotted spoon.
|Cooked, drained red lentils|
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the
lentils are very soft and tender, about 10 minutes.
Before draining the lentils, save some of the cooking liquid. You might need it later to thin-out the dip.
lentils in a fine-mesh strainer. Discard the bay leaf (if used); allow the
lentils cool for about 10 minutes in the strainer.
|Seasonings mixed and ready to use|
In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, red pepper
(or tomato) paste, cayenne pepper, garlic, cilantro (or parsley), cumin, and
olive oil. Set aside.
Process until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the
dip to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours before
serving allowing the flavors to develop.
Bring to room temperature. Before serving, drizzle the top with a little olive oil,
and garnish with cilantro or parsley leaves.
NOTE: If you make this a day in advance, the red lentils will firm-up. You could leave it this way and use it as a spread, or thin it out with some of the reserved cooking liquid and another drizzle of olive oil, and use as a dip.
Serve with your favorite crackers, pita chips, or