Lentils with Tahini

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.

 

Print Recipe
Lentils with Tahini
ottolenghi lentils with tahini, new years food, good luck food, crave
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
ottolenghi lentils with tahini, new years food, good luck food, crave
Instructions
  1. Cook lentils in a saucepan with a ton water. Usually, they take about 20-30 minutes, depending on their age, etc. Drain and rinse with cool water. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, add butter and oilive oil. Once warm, add cumin and garlic and cook for one minute or until fragrant -- be mindful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add tomatoes and cooked lentils. Once all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and warm, add tahini and lemon juice. Cook for another five minutes, adding a little water if the consistency is too thick.
  4. Serve warm or room temperature with a garnish of cilantro. It's also really tasty with a sprinkle of feta cheese on top. The original recipe serves with red onion, hard-boiled egg and a sprinkle of paprika -- all of which would be delightful, but certainly not necessary.
  5. We eat this with rice and a salad for a complete dinner, or it can also be served as a very hearty side dish.
Share this Recipe


2 thoughts on “Lentils with Tahini”

  • Yum. I am going to make one night this week. Years ago I recall visiting you and DJ in DC (maybe DC, maybe Baltimore) and you had a nice plate of crackers and a spread. I couldn’t get enough of the spread and as you saw how much I enjoyed it you asked if I knew what it was. At first I thought it was some sort of pate but then I knew you would never serve me pate. The big reveal: plain lentils and salt mashed up. Do you recall this most delish and cheap appetizer? Did you hide something else in there that still makes me salivate thinking about it?

    • Ha! Boy, were we poor then – mashed up lentils with salt as an appetizer. 🙂 No, the only other thing that might’ve been in it was a little balsamic or lemon juice to brighten it up.
      I think you and AC will love these lentils — we all adore them. Do you have any of the Ottolenghi books? If not, they worth a look for sure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.