Lucky Red Lentil Dip with Toasted Pita Crisps
Slightly adapted from Cooking Light
In Italy, lentils are supposed to symbolize money and good fortune for the coming year, so I thought it would be fun to make something with lentils for New Year’s Day. Italians, Germans, and Brazilians all eat lentils for New Year’s Day celebrations.
So this New Year’s, I’m having a quiet day at home with my kids. We all slept in. I had some coffee cake and tea for breakfast. They made waffle puffs, and then I made this pretty red dip and my daughter and I activated our new phones. All day I’ve been thinking over the past year and thinking ahead to the new one. I ordered a waffle maker since ours broke last year and no free waffle makers have appeared on my doorstep or under the tree. Next I’m going to order a fondue pot. I’ve always wanted one of those. Melissa reminded me about that with her post about her New Year’s fondue tradition. There’s no reason I can’t have a fondue pot if I want one. That should be my New Year’s Resolution, I think: this year, allow yourself to have what you want.
So let’s talk dip. This pretty orangey red dip is a bit hummus-like, but lighter and it has just a little zing from the cayenne. I think actually I’m going to add more cayenne because I like things quite spicy and my sinuses need a little help. Perhaps this dip will clear them … and bring luck and good fortune for the coming year.
I want to thank all of you for visiting me and I wish you a healthy, happy, prosperous year full of joy, love, kindness and delicious foods.
- 1 cup dried small red lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon salsa + 2 teaspoons tomato powder (or 1 Tablespoon tomato paste)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
- 3 - 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 - 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed kumquat or lemon juice
- 4 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, each cut into 6 wedges
- Cooking spray
- Coarse sea salt
- To prepare the dip, place the red lentils and the bay leaf in a large saucepan and cover with water to well above the lentils. (Cooking Light says 2 inches over, but that wasn't as easy to measure as you'd think because the water foams up when you add it.) Bring these lovelies to a boil, cover mostly (but leave the lid slightly cocked so it doesn't boil over on your stove), reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Remove the lid and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. If you still have liquid in the lentils, use a strainer to strain it out. Pull out the bay leaf and discard it
- Heat the oil in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and pine nuts and saute for about 5 minutes or until some of the nuts are lightly browned. Stir in the rest of the dip ingredients, including the lentils. Put this all into a food processor or handi chopper and process until smooth.
- To prepare the pita crisps, coat both sides of the pita wedges with cooking spray, set them on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkle them lightly with coarse sea salt. Arrange the pita triangles in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden and crisp.
- Sprinkle the dip with cayenne or tomato powder at serving, if you like. Serve with the hot toasted pita crisps.