An earthy, peppery spread over toasted bread creates the perfect starter course that will keep you feeling grounded, with lots of endurance.
- Yield: 8 Servings
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
- Sea salt
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup green or brown lentils, sorted and rinsed well
- 3 cups spring or filtered water
- Dash balsamic vinegar
- ½ roasted red bell pepper, diced
- 1 whole-grain baguette, thickly sliced (½ to 1 inch)
How to Make It
- Combine the oil, onion, and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. When the onion begins to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and sauté until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the carrot and celery with a pinch of salt and sauté until shiny with oil. Spread the veggies over the bottom of the pot and add the bay leaf. Top with the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the lentils are quite soft, 35 to 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes more. If any cooking liquid remains, remove the lid and cook over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from the heat, stir in a generous splash of balsamic vinegar, and transfer to a food processor. Puree, by pulsing, until thick and semi-smooth. You want a pâté-like texture, not a cream. Fold in the roasted red pepper.
- To prepare the crostini, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the bread on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil on the top side and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake until golden and crispy, about 8 minutes. Set a timer so you don’t burn the bread.
- Spread the pate on the warm, toasted bread and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.