Lentils with Tahini
In some past life, I think I must have lived in the Middle East, as I crave nothing more than feta cheese, stuffed grape leaves, lentils, pilafs, hummus, baba ganoush, etc. When I was in college I make near weekly treks to the local Middle Eastern grocery store to buy feta in bulk. The tradition continued when we lived in Minneapolis, and I remember vividly one very frigid Saturday morning climbing over a mountain of old snow piled high in a parking lot just to get into the front door to buy feta. Salt is clearly a motivator…
A few years ago we purchased all of the Ottolenghi cookbooks — what a find! Although most of the recipes are too involved for weeknight cooking (for me, anyways), I adore them. One of my favorite recipes is from Plenty More called Crushed Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin; below is my greatly modified version.
Growing up my parents always had lentil soup for New Years’ day for good luck. Unfortunately, they ruined the soup by cooking the lentils with a massive ham hock. The memory of the smell even now makes my stomach turn… Today I make my very modified version of Ottolenghi’s lentils every New Years’ day, and a few other times throughout the year, too. Despite the less than appetizing photo above, I crave this dish.