Roasted Beet Tapanade & Lentil Pecan Dip

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I was inspired to make these dips after having dinner out at Heirloom Restaurant in December. I enjoyed their dips plate so much (especially the lentil hummus) that I knew I had to come home and try to recreate it for my family. Much to my disappointment I couldn’t find similar recipes online, but I did come across these two dips. They each had some of the elements I enjoyed from Heirloom (lentils and roasted beets), but also a few new ingredients like the miso paste. The roasted beet tapenade is fairly straight forward to make, but the lentil pecan dip may require a special trip to the grocery store. I was able to find all of the ingredients for both dips without too much trouble at Save On Foods. Unfortunately there were no small packages of miso paste, so to make the lentil pecan dip you will likely have to commit to a decent sized package (expect more recipes involving miso paste soon!). Both of these dips are great with raw vegetables, crackers, chips, and as sandwich spreads.

* Beets are an excellent source of folate and a very good source of the antioxidants manganese and vitamin C. They also are a good source of potassium and dietary fiber.

* Red lentils are a good source of dietary fibre, thiamin, iron, and folate.

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Roasted Beet Tapande

Ingredients:

4 medium beets (about 1 pound)

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 large head garlic, roasted*

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 tsp dried fennel

1 1/2 tsp lemon peel, finely shredded

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Peel and trim beets. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a roasting pan. Toss with the olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast in a 425 degree F oven about 35 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. Place beets in a food processor. Add garlic, balsamic vinegar, and walnuts; cover and blend or process until a coarse puree is formed.
  4. Place in a bowl. Stir in feta cheese, fennel, lemon peel, and ground black pepper. Add additional salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar to taste.
  5. Serve at room temperature with veggies or chips.

* To roast the garlic:

  1. Remove the papery outer layers from garlic head but leave the skins of the cloves intact.
  2. Cut off 1/4 inch from the tips to expose individual cloves.
  3. Brush sides and top with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  4. Wrap garlic head in aluminum foil and place cut side up in a small baking dish.
  5. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until cloves feel soft when pressed; cool.
  6. Press garlic paste from individual cloves.

Recipe adapted from http://www.bhg.com/recipe/sauces/roasted-beet-tapenade/

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Lentil Pecan Dip

Ingredients:

1 cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ cups pecans, toasted

⅓ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp miso paste

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp dried basil

½ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring lentils and 3 cups water to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15-20 minutes. Drain, and cool.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until onion is golden. Cool.
  3. Pulse pecans in food processor until thick paste forms.
  4. Add lentils and onion mixture, and purée until smooth.
  5. Add parsley, miso paste, rice vinegar, basil, thyme, and black pepper; pulse until combined.
  6. Transfer to bowl. Cover, and chill 4 hours.

* You can choose your desired dip consistency by draining as little or as much water from the lentils as you would like.

Recipe adapted from http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/red-lentil-pecan-pate/

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