This week on Creatures Features we asked food consultant and stylist, Diana Yen of The Jewels of New York, to create a recipe for those inevitable times during the holidays when you find yourself hosting guests without much notice.
Ceramics provided by Sheldon Ceramics
Diana Yen: We’ve all been in this situation: last minute relatives and friends pop over unannounced during the holidays. You scramble around in the kitchen thinking of what you can make without having to step foot outside to buy more stuff. The answer is this!
If you have a basic pantry, most likely you’ll have beans or lentils. I love using red lentils because they cook up fast and you can still flavor them however you like. For this recipe, I’m using cumin in the cooking water to add a subtle spice. If you have canned beans (chickpeas and white beans work great), you can sub out the lentils and use two 15-ounce cans instead.
After the lentils are tender, I blitz them with loads of fresh herbs. Pretty much anything in the fridge will work. I used a mixture of dill, mint and cilantro in mine, then a big squeeze of lemon juice and fresh garlic.
Find some pretty vegetables to chop up and serve them up on a platter. Healthy and comforting, the perfect holiday entertaining dish.
Lentil Veggie Dip
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 cup dried red lentils
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh mixed herbs (dill, mint, cilantro, parsley, and chives work
½ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
½ a lemon, juice reserved
veggies, for serving
Combine shallot, lentils, cumin and 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils become tender, about 20-25 minutes. Strain through a sieve, discarding extra liquid. Puree lentils with 1 cup mixed herbs, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Serve along with seasonal vegetables.