Spicy Harissa Lentils with Lemon Tahini and Sweet Onions
by eat in my kitchen
A friend of ours gave us a large bottle of tahini which he brought back to Berlin from his latest trip to Israel. Guy knows how much we love this oily sesame paste and it wasn’t the first time that he brought some for us from one of his trips to the Middle East. This time, he announced solemnly that this Blue Dove Tahina is the best tahini ever. Unfortunately, I can’t read anything that’s written on it, apart from Quality Since 1921, the rest is in Arabic and Hebrew, but Guy told me that it’s not actually from Israel but from Palestine. If only people could forget about borders as easily as food does when it travels.
So, our special Tahina deserved some special recipes. Hummus came first, enjoyed only with some soft chunks of a white loaf of bread dipped into the velvety creaminess. We sprinkled a few pieces of the bread with the pure tahini paste and agreed that it’s so good that it doesn’t really need any addition, pure on bread – that’s perfection! However I couldn’t stop myself from coming up with another delicious way of making use of it: I whisked together a thick, oily sauce made of tahini, garlic roasted in olive oil and lemon juice – it’s divine. Then, I cooked red lentils in my homemade vegetable broth and mixed it with spicy harissa, I drizzled the tahini sauce all over it and finished it off with onions, cooked until they were juicy, golden brown and almost as sweet as candy.
This recipe has been featured by Food52!
Spicy Harissa Lentils with Tahini and Sweet Onions
For the lentils
red lentils 200g / 7 ounces
vegetable broth (unsalted) 1/2l / 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon
fine sea salt
olive oil 1 tablespoon
For the topping
onions, cut in half and thinly sliced, 2
a pinch of sugar
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
fresh parsley leaves 12
For the tahini sauce
olive oil 3 tablespoons
garlic, cut into tiny cubes, 2 large clove
tahini 1 1/2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1-2 teaspoon
a pinch of fine sea salt
In a large heavy pan, bring the lentils and broth to a boil and simmer on medium heat for about 8 minutes or until the lentils are al dente. Stir in 1 teaspoon of harissa and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
While the lentils are cooking, heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy pan and cook the onions on medium heat for a few minutes until golden brown and soft, stir in a pinch of sugar.
For the tahini sauce, heat the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat for about 1 minute or until the garlic is golden but not dark. Take the saucepan off the heat and pour the garlic oil into a bowl. Whisk in the tahini, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and salt, season to taste.
Divide the lentils between plates, sprinkle with the tahini sauce, a little more harissa (optional), crushed pepper and parsley. Enjoy!