Remember that roasted delicata squash I talked about? I had every intention of making that dish again and photographing it to share here. But even though delicata squash came in the CSA the previous ~4 weeks, it did not come the week I made these Persian spiced lentils. Not the most fortunate for me, but hey, I can’t control Mother Nature! I just do what she says, and this week the instructions were to make potatoes and cauliflower. Of course, I love both potatoes and cauliflower so it’s pretty easy to see the silver lining with that one.
I wanted to cook up something using my cheater shortcut baharat spice blend. It plays really well with ingredients that have a hint of sweetness. But I didn’t have ANY of the ingredients I had in mind (carrot, sweet potato, winter squash, apple…). Well, there’s nothing I like more than a challenge! I roasted the cauliflower to bring out as much of its natural sweetness as I could, along with a whole onion and bell pepper. I added a touch of coconut sugar to the lentils, and finished them off with dried currants. This was pantry cooking at its finest.
The result was even better than I expected, as the earthiness of the lentils provides the perfect backdrop for the other flavors. I hope to share more baharat-spiced recipes in the future. These Persian spiced lentils were definitely a winner!
In addition to the beautiful purple cauliflower, potatoes, and onions found in this dish, in our CSA lately we’ve also gotten:
Radishes + greens
I am surprised about the late October tomatoes, too. We also got tomatoes late into October last year, but last year, September and October were significantly warmer. And these tomatoes haven’t been mealy at all – they’re vibrant red, and good to eat either raw or cooked. Our next CSA pickup is in November, so we’ll see if the magic continues!
- 3-5 small potatoes or 1-2 large, cut into small cubes
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- oil as needed
- baharat spice blend and salt, to taste
- ½ of a yellow or white onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tb. baharat spice blend
- 1 c. dry lentils, soaked for at least two hours, soaking water discarded
- 1 and ½ c. low-sodium vegetable broth or water, plus more as needed
- 1 tb. coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 tb. nutritional yeast (see notes for substitutions)
- juice of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
- ¼ c. dried currants or chopped dried raisins
- 3 tb. chopped, toasted walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat-type liner, and place it in the oven to pre-heat.
- Toss the cauliflower and potatoes together with a splash of oil until thinly coated (I use coconut oil for high-heat roasting). Sprinkle with salt to taste, pepper, and a pinch of baharat spice blend.
- Add the vegetables to the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crispy and just done.
- Heat a splash of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once heated, add the onion and garlic, along with a pinch of salt, and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes, until softened.
- Stir in the baharat spice blend and cook for about 30 more seconds, stirring, until fragrant.
- Add the lentils, vegetable broth or water, sugar, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice, and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed, until the lentils are done (about 20 minutes for green lentils). Salt to taste.
- Stir in the chopped currants or raisins and walnuts. Serve with roasted cauliflower and potatoes.
I used green lentils. You can substitute other types, but adjust the cooking time as needed. For red lentils, you don't need to soak them first.
Suggestions for variations: add chopped spinach after the lentils are done. Stir it in and leave it just until it wilts slightly, then remove from the heat. Use other roasted vegetables instead of/in addition to the cauliflower and potatoes, especially roasted bell pepper. Serve with long grain rice.
I spent last Halloween eating vegan sushi (and dressed up as a character from Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I’m not embarrassed. That game is a classic!). And this Halloween will probably be equally random! I guess I’m just trying to make an excuse for why I didn’t share any “Halloweeny” recipes this year, and gave you Persian spiced lentils instead. But if you’re looking for Halloweenspiration, you can never go wrong with some delicious vegan finger foods (images are links). Like amazing chewy chocolate chip cookies:
Or pretzel empanadas stuffed with your favorite filling:
Or the world’s most tasty sweet potato fries (bonus: they are orange! and they involve beer.):
Or hummus that tastes like an everything bagel:
However you end up celebrating (or not!), and whatever you end up eating, hope you have a great Halloween this year!