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Crushed puy lentils with tahini and cumin

This delicious recipe comes courtesy of an Israeli-English chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, who does quite a bit of vegetarian cooking. The Social's Jess Allen is a big fan. 

Jess was served this dish by friends who are also vegans, so they left out the eggs and butter. Jess loved it so much that she started making it at home and it's now a part of her weekly or bi-weekly rotation of meals. She made some changes though, only because she usually only has canned lentils on hand. She added some extra tomatoes, garlic, and subbed cilantro for coriander. So here is how Jess makes it, with all the optional ingredients, too. 

You can find Yotam's recipe here.



  • 2 cans of lentils, rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cumin
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 4 Roma tomatoes diced (you can also use canned tomatoes...maybe four or five.)
  • Juice of half a lemon (or more, if you like!)
  • As much fresh cilantro as you like
  • Half a red onion, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper
  • Butter and boiled eggs are optional


  1. Put a pot on the stove top on medium heat. Add your oil (and butter if you like), garlic and cumin. Stir that up for a bit, making sure that you don't burn your garlic. Add the tomatoes and the lentils. Stir and cook for a couple minutes more. Add the tahini, lemon, a good couple of cranks of cracked pepper, a teaspoon of salt, and about half a cup of water. Reduce the heat and let that all come together for about eight or ten minutes. (I sometimes find this cooks so fast that I'm not actually ready to eat, so, on occasion, I've added a little more water to loosen it up!) Serve with fresh cilantro and the raw onions on top. If you feel like it, add a nice drizzle of good olive oil, too. 
  2. We tried it with the boiled eggs on the side from the original recipe and Simon was obsessed with them! They are very good but I think these lentils are a meal unto themselves. And obviously if you leave out the butter and eggs, it's a vegan dinner. I usually serve some veggie sides with them (also vegan!): I roast some Yukon Gold potatoes in the oven (olive oil, salt, pepper) and saute some greens, like swiss chard or dandelion in olive oil and garlic. It's also lovely with just a fresh green salad dressed in lemon and olive oil. In any case, they are so delicious and it doesn't feel like you're eating anything particularly "healthy," if you know what I mean, because you're so satisfied.

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