Posts Tagged ‘healthy appetizers’

Lentils You Will Love

admin | May 30th, 2010

Beluga Lentil Caviar

The caviar-like appearance of these wonderful lentils gives such a beautiful look to this healthy appetizer. Be diligent in preparing the beans as not to over cook them.

1/2 cup (1 #) dried beluga or French lentils
2-3 cups of fresh water
1/2-1 t. sea salt

1 whole wheat (if you can find it) baguette sliced thinly on an angle
1/3 cup olive oil
3 large cloves garlic

8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese (1/3 less fat than cream cheese) or ricotta or goat cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup tender baby kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Broccoli sprouts, slivers of roasted red pepper or sliced grape tomatoes, walnut halves to top off each piece

Wash and pick over the lentils then drain. No need to soak them. Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with 2-3 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil and reduce immediately to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Lentils should be tender but not splitting and falling apart. Salt to taste at this point – I use around 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You decide if it needs more. Remove from the heat and drain any remaining liquid. Drizzle 2 T. of extra virgin olive oil over lentils and let cool.

Make the garlic bruschetta:
Brush a light coating of olive oil on slices of baguette. Place rounds in a single layer across two baking sheets. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove and let cool. Cut the ends off the garlic cloves. Take a single clove in your fingers and rub the top of each piece of bread with the garlic to give each slice a bit of a garlic kick. Don’t overdo it.

Make the chive cheese spread: In a food processor add the cheese, kale, salt and pepper and chives. Process till smooth and the pale green color is uniform. Check for flavor and set aside.

All ingredients should be at room temperature. Take each slice of toasted bread and smear each with a bit of the chive kale spread. Top with a small spoonful of lentils. Garnish with broccoli sprouts and/or pretty purple chive blossoms or any of the above listed options. Serve immediately.