Red Lentil Hummus
Here is my third and last submission to the Canadian Lentil Recipe Challenge organized by Canadian Lentil. Lentils are a natural fit with my cooking as you can see from the several lentil recipes on my blog. Lentils are so versatile, I can make anything with them, from soup to salad to main course and even for breakfast. This recipe is for an appetizer dip or you can use it as a spread for sandwiches – delicious either way.
Lentil hummus is a twist on the Mediterranean hummus, usually made with chickpeas. I make it with red lentils instead of the garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas) and keep it authentic with the addition of Tahini (sesame paste), garlic and lemon juice. A few toasted pine nuts scattered on top and a dusting of paprika add a lot to the flavour. The red lentils are cooked and mashed lightly, leaving some texture in this hummus. If you want a smoother texture you can give it a few pulses in a food processor.
Serve it with pita bread, crushed olives and a glass of sangria or a fruity wine. I sometime brush olive oil over the pita triangles, sprinkle with cheese and bake in the oven for a few minutes.
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1 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 cups water
3 tablespoon tahini paste
3 tablespoons water or as needed
1 clove garlic, grated
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon paprika, more for sprinkling op top
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
Additional paprika for garnish
Sort the lentils for any foreign matter. Place in a sieve and rinse well under cool running water. Drain.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil.
Add 1 teaspoon coarse salt and stir to dissolve.
Add the lentils, lower heat to a steady simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until they are tender. Red lentils cook very quickly so watch not to overcook.
Drain lentils in a sieve to remove all the remaining water stirring it gently as you drain.
Transfer lentils to a bowl and mash with a fork to a creamy consistency, it does not have to be completely smooth.
Reconstitute tahini with just enough water to reach a creamy consistency, stirring it with a whisk.
Add garlic, salt and lemon juice to the tahini and mix to combine.
Add the drained lentils to the tahini mixture and mix well.
Add olive oil and stir to mix.
Add 2 tablespoons of the parsley.
Season with salt and pepper and taste to correct seasoning.
Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with a sprinkling of paprika, remaining parsley or a sprig of mint and a drizzle of olive oil.
Serve at room temperature with pita bread wedges.
You can embellish the pita bread by brushing it with olive oil, sprinkling with herbs (thyme, rosemary) and cheese (Parmesan, feta, goat cheese) and toasting in the oven.
Cut the pita bread into triangles (using scissors make it easy).
Arrange the pita triangles on a foil line baking pan.
Brush each with olive oil and sprinkle with grated cheese (parmesan).
Bake at 375F for a few minutes until golden.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with a little more cheese, parsley and paprika.
Serve with the red lentil hummus.