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Buttered Nut et Lentil Dip

Variation
Green or brown lentils can be used, but they will take longer to cook than red lentils. If you wish, substitute peanuts for the almonds. Ground ginger can be used instead of fresh - substitute 1/2 teaspoon and add it with the other spices.

ingredients

serves 4
60 g (2 oz) 1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
90 g (3 oz) 1/3 cup red lentils
300 ml (1/2 pint) 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
60 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup blanched almonds
60 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp grated root ginger
1 tsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
salt and pepper
sprigs of fresh coriander (cilantro) to garnish

to serve

fresh vegetable crudites bread sticks

method

1. Melt half the butter in a saucepan and fry the onion over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown.

2. Add the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 25 - 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Drain well.

3. Melt the remaining butter in a small frying pan (skillet). Add the almonds and pine nuts and fry them over a low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Remove from the heat.

4. Put the lentils, almonds and pine nuts, with any remaining butter, into a food processor blender. Add the ground coriander, cumin, ginger and fresh coriander (cilantro). Process for about 15 - 20 seconds, until the mixture is smooth. Alternatively, press the lentils through a strainer to puree them and then mix with the finely chopped nuts, spices and herbs.

5. Season the dip with salt and pepper and garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander (cilantro). Serve with fresh vegetable crudites and bread sticks.

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