I pretty much knew when I read this recipe and cooked the glorious ingredients together in my head that it would taste amazing, but it would probably look fairly humble; maybe the word is “earthy”. I was right on both counts. This dip or spread is as good as your favorite hummus or tzatziki, and in fact is perfect when served along-side either (or both!), which is what I’m doing right now with a nice cold glass of Pinot Grigio.
I’m glad I took the time earlier today to photograph a few of the ingredients that go into this amazing spread. From start to finish, this recipe takes a little time (especially if you count tracking down green lentils, which I found at the New Season’s store down the road) and it’s not cheap, if you have to buy fresh herbs. But in my opinion it was well worth the effort.
This versatile recipe came from the April 2012 edition of Bon Appétit magazine. And one last note, my daughter Jill made this pretty little dish a couple of years ago.
Green lentil spread
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled carrot
- 3 small sprigs thyme
- 2 small sprigs rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup French green lentils or brown lentils (8 ounces), rinsed
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups (about) low-salt chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375°. Cut top 1/2” off head of garlic; place on sheet of foil and drizzle with 1/2 Tbsp. oil. Roast garlic until tender, about 35 minutes. Let cool; squeeze cloves from skins and set aside. Discard skins.
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add lentils and stir for 2 minutes. Add wine and simmer until almost all liquid is evaporated, 4–5 minutes. Pour in broth to cover lentils by about 1”. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer, adding more broth or water by 1/4-cupfuls as needed (I didn’t need any extra), until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly; discard herbs.
Purée lentil mixture and roasted garlic in a food processor. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.