Recipe by Molly Baz in Cook This Book
Talk about an easy way to flavor your lentils! The walnut oil is warm and earthy, until you get a hint of sweet from the golden raisins. Finishing this dish with good quality feta and literally lotsa basil balances the dish so it’s not too heavy. I love this even the next day, when the flavors really come together. I’d highly recommend enjoying this as your lunch or mid-afternoon snack. The fiber, plant-protein and heart healthy fat ensure you’ll be well fueled to conquer your day!
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 ½ C packed basil leaves
- 1 (4-ounce) block feta cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ C black beluga lentils or French green lentils
- 1 C raw walnuts, almonds, or pecans
- ½ C extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ C golden raisins
- 1/3 C red or white wine vinegar
Cook the Lentils
- Bring a medium saucepan filled with 2 quarts water and 2 tbsp salt to a boil.
- Add 1 ½ C black beluga lentils, give them a good stir, and return the water to a simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer while they cook. Simmer until they are cooked through and no longer toothsome, but not mushy, 15 – 35 minutes, depending on what type of lentils you have and how old they are. Taste them periodically to evaluate their doneness before draining them.
- Drain the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer and let them cool in a strainer while you prepare the walnut dressing. Reserve the saucepan.
Make the Spiced Walnut Oil
- Coarsely chop 1 C walnuts.
- In the reserved saucepan, combine ½ C olive oil and the chopped walnuts and cook over medium-low heat, swirling the pan often so that they cook evenly, until golden brown, 4 – 6 minutes. Keep an eye on them, as they can turn from toasty to burn pretty quickly. Remove from the heat.
- Add 1 Tbsp cumin seeds and 1 ½ tsp ground coriander and stir to combine. Using a microplane, immediately grate 3 garlic cloves into the still-hot oil; stir to combine.
- Stir in 1/3 C golden raisins, 1/3 C red wine vinegar and 1 tsp salt.
Dress the Lentils
- Add the drained lentils back to the medium saucepan with the walnut mixture and gently stir everything to combine.
- Thinly slice 1 (4-ounce) block of feta into large ¼-inch-thick-planks.
- Tear 1 ½ C basil leaves in half, or into small pieces if large, and toss them through the lentils. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Divide the lentils among 4 serving bowls. Top each with a few feta planks and black pepper and drizzle with more olive oil.