This one-pan dish is the perfect combination of caramelized vegetables, tender lentils, and juicy pomegranate seeds, all drizzled with an addictive lemon sauce. You can use canned, drained lentils instead of dried, but if you start boiling dried lentils before you chop the vegetables, it’ll take about the same amount of time as using canned in the end. Feel free to punch up the vinaigrette with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced fresh ginger, garlic, or Dijon mustard.
Freeze any leftovers or double the recipe and freeze in a freezer-safe, oven-safe casserole dish. To reheat, bake from frozen in preheated 375 F (190 C) oven for about 30 minutes, until hot. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything about food security, it’s that buying local matters. Buying local means being less dependent on imports. More money stays in the local economy and can be directed into public services, including hospitals and schools, via taxes.
And on the environmental side, while Canada has plenty of large-scale monocrop farms, by supporting small-scale organic farms you’ll help encourage biodiversity, improve soil quality, and put your money where your mouth is by supporting a model of sustainable agriculture for future generations.
1 cup (250 mL) dried green or brown lentils
4 cups (1 L) water
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground turmeric
1 bay leaf
1 tsp (5 mL) salt, divided
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 onion, peeled and cut in 1/4 in (6 mm) slices
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut in 1/4 in (6 mm) slices
2 cups (500 mL) carrots, cut in 1/4 in (6 mm) slices
2 cups (500 mL) zucchini, cut in 1/4 in (6 mm) slices
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) pomegranate seeds
Sweet lemon vinaigrette
2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey or cane sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 roasted garlic clove, from above
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
In medium pot, bring lentils, water, turmeric, and bay leaf to a boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
Drain well. Transfer to medium bowl and stir in 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt.
On rimmed baking sheet, toss whole garlic cloves, onion, fennel, carrots, and zucchini with 2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil, black pepper, and remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. (If your baking sheet tends to stick, line with parchment paper before adding vegetables.) Add lentils. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Stir and return to oven for 10 minutes more. Remove 1 roasted garlic clove for vinaigrette.
For sweet lemon vinaigrette, in bowl or resealable jar, whisk or vigorously shake together lemon juice, honey, black pepper, and salt. Slowly whisk in or shake in oil until emulsified. Press in pulp of 1 roasted garlic clove and whisk or shake to combine. Return garlic skin to vegetable tray. Taste and adjust vinaigrette with salt, lemon, or honey.
To serve, divide tray bake among 6 plates, top with pomegranate seeds, and drizzle with sweet lemon vinaigrette.