3/4 cup dried green lentils
or 1 package of Trader Joe's prepared/steamed lentils
3 cups water
1 whole bay leaf
1 whole small yellow onion
6 cloves garlic
peeled and coarsely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mirin
1 1/4 cups walnuts
toasted for 10 - 12 minutes at 350°F and cooled
1/3 cup fresh parsley
plus extra for garnish chopped
1 tbsp chopped oregano
3 tbsp yellow miso
1 1/2 tbsp umeboshi paste
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
extra olive oil
for drizzling
chopped fresh herbs
crackers or sliced baguette
cornichons or olives
We were looking for a more healthful alternative to the traditional holiday truffle mousse that Derek grew up with. This fit the bill perfectly. We're totally hooked on the rich blend of flavors and velvety texture--with all the health benefits of nuts, legumes and probiotic miso! (The kids love it, too.)
In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until the lentils are very tender (but not falling apart), 20 - 30 minutes. Drain, discard the bay leaf, and cool completely. (Or, just use Trader Joe's lentils and skip this step.)
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring frequently and reducing the heat if necessary, until the onions are golden, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the mirin and remove from the heat. Cool completely.
Place the toasted and cooled walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and puree until it looks like nut butter, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the cooled lentils and the onion mixture and puree smooth. Add in the oregano and parsley, miso, umeboshi, pepper, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and blend until smooth.
Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and chopped fresh herbs, and serve with crackers or sliced baguette and cornichons or olives.
Miso, umeboshi paste and mirin can all be found at Whole Foods in the Asian foods aisle, or at Asian (Japanese) markets. Look for miso that is stored in the refrigerator rather than shelf stable to take advantage of the the beneficial bacteria and probiotics.