It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Remember Texas Caviar – the summer bean dip with black-eyed peas, corn and avocado that tastes great on chips? This is kind of like that, only from our neck of the woods, an area known as the Palouse where we grow tons of lentils and chickpeas. Palouse Caviar, aka, Lentil Dip, can be served as a hearty salad, but I’ve been loving it as a healthy appetizer – served with little dippers (corn chips).
One of my friends, Nami, gave me the idea of lentil dip when she took store-bought salsa and mixed it with cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s and crumbled feta and served it with chips. Isn’t that brilliant? We all need a healthy appetizer we can whip up in 5 minutes, don’t we?
For a wintry, festive twist, I’ve been taking PNW’s Palouse lentils and stirring in pomegranate seeds, beets, cilantro, jalapeño, and avocado with a little olive oil and lime juice. The bright pops of flavor from the pomegranate seeds with the earthy beets and lentils and just a hint of heat, make for a tasty, healthy appetizer option for New Year’s Eve gatherings.
If you’ve been following along with me the last few weeks, you will have probably noticed a pomegranate theme happening. The truth is, I’ve kinda rekindled my love for them lately. Not only do they add beautiful color and bright juicy pops of flavor to almost everything, they are full of so many so nutrients and antioxidants. I’ve been a little obsessed.
Lentils are hands down, my super soul comfort food. Growing up, lentils were on the menu, perhaps a little too often. I’ve told you about my frugal Egyptian father before, remember him? Lentils are cheap and full of protein and so that’s what he cooked a LOT of at home. I remember thinking as a kid, that when I grow up, I’ll never eat lentils again! Guess what? I’m all grown up, and surprisingly, I’ve come to crave them. So healthy and delicious. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut with lentils – and end up making soup, which don’t get me wrong, I love…but it’s good to mix it up a bit, isn’t it?
For other lentil inspiration try one of my favorite recipes ever, Indian Meatballs.
As another year comes to a close, I’m reminded to pause and to look back and reflect. The underlying theme throughout my year has been surrounding relationships and friendships, and learning to see them with clear and fresh eyes. Removing the filters, so to speak. We are dynamic beings, each of us changing from breath to breath. And so it is with our relationships. We affect each other. We change each other. It’s easy to continue seeing someone, the same old static way, once we’ve judged and categorized them. But they are not the same. This way of seeing is blinding and illusionary and does those around us a disservice. I want to begin seeing with my heart.Print
Palouse Caviar ( aka Lentil Dip) with lentils, pomegranate seeds, beets, cilantro and lime. Serve as a appetizer with corn chips (like Little Dippers) or as a hearty salad over greens.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 10-12
- Category: Appetizer or Salad
- 3 cups cooked lentils (black caviar or french green)
- 1 ½ cups cooked beets, peeled, very small diced
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 cup chopped cilantro (tender stems ok)
- ½ cup finely diced red onion
- ½ a jalapeno, very finely diced
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Optional additions: diced avocado, feta crumbles
- Corn chips or Tortilla Chips for scooping
- Place first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to mix.
- Add olive oil, lime juice and zest, spices and salt.
- Stir to combine and allow this to sit 10 minutes for the salt to soak into the lentils.
- Adjust salt and lime.
- Top with crumbled feta (optional)
- Serve with corn chips or tortilla chips.