1/4 cup olive oil plus
more for garnish
1 small carrot peeled, diced
1/2 Spanish onion diced
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 small celery stalk diced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - (to ½)
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup brown lentils rinsed, picked over
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
(or 1/2 tbspn dried rosemary)
4 cups water
1 teaspoon honey - (to 1 ½)
(depending on how sweet you like it)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallions for garnish
Place a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the carrot, onion, garlic, celery, pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, stirring well after each addition. Cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the cinnamon stick and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the honey, tahini, salt, and black pepper. Transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and puree until completely smooth. Place the mixture in a fine-wire-mesh strainer and strain into a bowl, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon. Discard the solids.
This recipe yields about 1 cup.
Wash lentils in a colander or a strainer under cold running water. Be sure to get rid of any pebbles and dust - keep rinsing the lentils until the water runs clear.
Yield: 1 cup