Monday, March 23, 2009

Red Lentil Loaf-March 2009

Inspired by the "Red Lentil Balls" we get at our local farmer's market, I thought I could make something like that in loaf form. We surreptitiously wrote down the ingredients on the label at the market, bought a box of them - and promptly discovered the ingredients list on the back of the package :) So, I knew what was in them, but didn't know how much, but I played and came up with the following recipe:
  • 3/4c red lentils (+ 1 1/2 c water)
  • 1/2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/3 c cracked wheat (+2/3 c salted water)
  • 1 tsp olive oil (+1/2 tsp)
  • 1 bunch of fresh chives, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Combine lentils, tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for ~15 minutes (until lentils are done). At the same time, combine the cracked wheat and water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes until done. Drain the cracked wheat.

Combine lentils and cracked wheat in a bowl. Add 1 tsp olive oil, fresh chives, lemon juice and salt, mix well.
** A little note about fresh chives**

Watch out for the fire ants!!!!

Line a loaf pan with cling wrap and brush with olive oil. Spread lentil mixture into pan, smooth and brush top with oil, then cover with the extra cling wrap. Place in fridge for 2-4 hrs.

Take loaf out of the fridge, unwrap the top of the clingwrap, and turn the loaf pan over onto a plate...
Then, you see you need a sauce! So....
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/3 c plain yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
a dash of Tony Chachere's seasoning

Combine all ingredients until well mixed. Then, realize that Pitas would be AWESOME with this, along with some fresh, organic Pac Choy from the Farmers' Market and do something like this

But does it taste good?...........................

That's a Yes!!!

Sedge, however, found it a bit less than appealing (he's only had red lentils warm)....

All in all, lots of fun, and now I have a new and fairly easy spring/summer dinner for us to enjoy!


  1. Awesome loaf. I always like red lentils, they're so pretty. I was also happy to see two staples of New Orleans present in your post, i.e. Tony Chachere's seasoning and fire ants.

    At a restaurant I used work at we had a black bean loaf on the menu. It was baked and then re-heated. Pretty tasty, and we served it with either a sun dried tomato puree or a roasted red pepper coulis. Actually, I'm pretty sure it was the puree, but the coulis would be better.

    Regardless of all that, your entry looks very nice. Good photos, good story,and a loaf Sly and I will probably be trying in the near future.

  2. Thanks for the comments! It was surprisingly tasty and easy to make...and there are actually 3 Louisiana ingredients - an Abita Jocamo Pale Ale really complements it well. Please let me know how it goes when you make it at home (one little note - I am not a big salt person, and I just added the salt for Stef, so if you don't care much for salt, I really think it can be left out of the loaf recipe - but what's nice about this dish is you can taste as you go since it's all cooked and you're just mixing.)