Another wonderful variation is to spread this out on a microwave-safe plate, sprinkle feta cheese over the top, and heat for a couple of minutes to warm through. Fantastic with some olives and warm flat bread for dipping.
The roasted carrots and onions give this a sweet edge that balances well with the warm, mineral flavor of the lentils. Adjust the salt and the hot pepper flakes to your own tastes, of course.
Red Lentil and Roasted Carrot Dip or Spread
2 large carrots, trimmed and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
1/2 white onion, chopped into large chunks (about a cup)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 cups cooked red lentils, well drained
juice of one lemon (3-4 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Toss the carrot and onion chunks with the olive oil and salt, and spread out on a small baking sheet. Roast at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until they are tender and golden brown.
Scrape the carrot/onion mixture (including any residual oil) into your food processor, and add the remaining ingredients. Pulse until the mixture is fairly smooth, with small flecks of carrot still visible. Taste and adjust the salt and hot pepper, as desired. Serve warm or chilled, and use as a dip or sandwich spread. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
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