Remember last week, when I wrote about the book launch for Lentil Underground? And about the delicious small bites we enjoyed, made from organic heirloom lentils and grains grown by the Montana farmers featured in the book?
Well, I asked Chef Claudia if I could share the recipe for her Red Lentil and Yam Tapenade with Eggplant Chips, which was my favorite recipe of the night. And she said yes, which was very kind of her.
This dish is savory and sweet and earthy and spicy all at once. Before I even tasted it, I smelled the spice blend and knew at once that I would feel at home in Claudia’s kitchen. It had one of my favorite combinations: cumin, chile, unsweetened chocolate, and cinnamon, plus a surprise ingredient I wouldn’t have thought to include, but which worked wonderfully with the others: curry powder.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons onion, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons red bell pepper, cubed
- 1 garlic clove, mashed
- 1 roma tomato, chopped
- ½ cups Timeless Seeds Crimson Lentils (or any red lentils)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup cooked yams, peeled and cubed (note from Claire: Instead of cooking the yam separately, I peeled and cubed the raw yam, then added the cubes to the pot at the same time as the lentils. Was delicious. Also, I used a little extra: maybe ¾ cup of yam cubes.)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon curry
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon New Mexico Hatch chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 eggplant, sliced thin with mandoline or food processor
- oil (spray or brush)
- ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
- ½ teaspoon dried cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon dried mint
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Heat a dutch oven to medium high.
- Add onions and peppers and sauté until unions are translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add garlic and tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add 1 teaspoon of spice mix and blend.
- Add the lentils, stir, and add water.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes or until the lentils dissolve and the liquid thickens.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool off.
- Add cooked yam to mixture.
- Pulse in a food processor to a smooth consistency. (Optional; it’s also very good unblended.)
- Taste and add additional seasoning if necessary.
- Preheat oven to 250° F.
- Place dried herbs, garlic, and salt in a mortar and crush with a pestle.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice eggplant into paper-thin circles (about ⅛” thick), using a mandoline or food processor.
- Place eggplant circles on cookie sheet. Spray or brush with oil or cooking spray.
- Sprinkle with seasoning; flip and season other side.
- Place in oven and cook for about 60 minutes.
- Sprinkle with a local goat feta.
- Tapenade away and enjoy!
You can dot the tapenade with prepared pesto or a hot chili oil
You can also top with toasted pine nuts
Recipe shared with permission from Claudia’s Mesa
Many thanks to Claudia Krevat for allowing me to share her recipe, and for her wonderful cooking last week. Visit Claudia’s Mesa at claudiasmesa.com for more recipes and information on her cooking classes, products, and events.