When I first started cooking, I watched a lot of Barefoot Contessa and in one episode, Ina Garten made Warm French Lentils and they looked delicious! After watching that, I made her recipe and then began experimenting with spices I had. This version is one my favorites to make, since it has really good flavor and serves as a good side dish or meal. I actually like having mine on toast for lunch! The tahini drizzle is completely optional but is a nice tart contrast to the warm lentils.
This recipe is also pretty versatile, since you can add lots of other vegetables too. I add carrots, celery, or zucchini.
Recipe: Warm Lentils with a Tahini Drizzle
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 30 mins | Serves: 4 - 6
For the lentils:
1 cup dry lentils
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 roma tomatoes (or about 1/2 lb. of tomatoes), chopped
1 tbs. tomato paste
1.5 tbs dried herbs (herbes de provence, oregano, or thyme)
1/2 tbs. black pepper
salt to taste
For the tahini drizzle:
2 tbs. tahini
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste
Place the lentils in a pot with about 4 - 6 cups of water (enough to cover the lentils completely).
Bring lentils to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for about 20 - 30 minutes, until they are tender and cooked through.
While lentils are cooking, heat 3 tbs. olive oil in a pan and cook the onions, tomatoes, garlic, and tomato paste.
Cook vegetables on medium-low heat for about 20 - 25 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
Drain cooked lentils and add it to pan of cooked vegetables.
Mix lentils, vegetables, and remaining spices on low heat and cook for five minutes until it's all incorporated.
(Optional) For the tahini drizzle, mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over lentils as it is being served.