Start the evening off by taking a little dip with your Valentine. This versatile starter is quick to whip up and, best of all, can be made ahead of time. Pair it with chopped vegetables, your favourite crackers, or oven-roasted root vegetable fries.
Use extra dip as a spread for sandwiches, swirled into soups as a flavourful garnish, or thinned with some extra olive oil, water, and a little lemon juice to create a creamy salad dressing.
1 cup (250 mL) dry red lentils
2 cups (500 mL) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped roasted red peppers
1 Tbsp (15 mL) white miso
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely minced
3 Tbsp (45 mL) tahini
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sweet smoked paprika, plus extra for garnish
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Black and white sesame seeds, for garnish
Place lentils in fine-mesh sieve and rinse well under cold water. Place in medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow lentils to simmer, uncovered and stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed and lentils are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Into bowl of food processor, place cooked lentils, red peppers, miso, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, and paprika. Blend, scraping down sides of food processor as needed, until dip is smooth and creamy. Dip may be served immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
When ready to serve, transfer to serving dish and garnish with parsley, sesame seeds, and an extra pinch of smoked paprika.