There are a few things I always have on hand in my pantry and for some reasons, lentils are one of those things. I wouldn’t say I use lentils especially often, although they are certainly in the winter rotation for things like lentil soup with spicy Italian sausage or lentil soup with chunky potatoes and ham. Beyond that, lentils are a once-in-awhile thing and yet, they have a permanent place wedged between the equally ignored Arborio rice and a lone box of Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese (you know…for emergencies).
This recipe was born by accident when I was feeling the pressure to add one more thing to the table for a dinner party. I whipped it up using ingredients I had on hands and wrote the measurements in barely legible handwriting on the cover of the nearby May Bon Appetit. After a brief taste test I couldn’t have been more pleased by how perfect it turned out. I placed in the fridge to chill….and then promptly forgot to serve it during said dinner party.
Really, not the worst thing that could have happened to me. This is a fun spin on hummus with a lot of extra nutrition – lentils have plenty of fiber and are one of those too-good-for-you-to-be-true foods. It’s perfect on crackers, pita chips or a sandwich, but If you’re watching your carb intake (in which case, I don’t want to know you), serve it with chopped raw vegetables
Red Lentil Hummus
What You Need:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (also sold garbanzo beans)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1/4 cup lemon juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, chick peas, cumin and paprika and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in water and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until lentils are soft, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer contents of pot to a large bowl and set aside to let cool.
Transfer lentil mixture to a food processor along with lemon juice, salt and pepper and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and garnish with cilantro and a drizzle of oil, if you like.Print This Recipe