Last week, we hosted a Facebook Live with Boston chef Rebecca Arnold, owner of vegetarian/vegan fast casual joint Whole Heart Provisions. She blew our minds with one of the most popular dishes on the menu: seared avocado with fried lentils, drizzled with a tangy, savory tahini sauce. It’s a hearty vitamin and protein-packed lunch that’s big on flavor and low on impact.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil or olive oil
- 4 tablespoons za'atar
- 1/2 cup Crispy Lentils
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup tahini sauce
- 1/2 cup tahini paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 2 teaspoons mushroom powder (Dehydrated and ground shiitake mushroom, for savory umami flavor. Could substitute miso paste or salt here)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup black beluga lentils
- 3 quarts water
- 2 cups canola oil
For the lentils
Bring water to a boil in a 5 quart (or larger) saucepot.
Add lentils to boiling water.
Boil for 10 minutes.
Strain immediately and let lentils cool about 2 minutes.
In cleaned saucepot add oil and heat to 350 degrees, using a fry thermometer to check temp.
Fry lentils in two batches in hot oil for about 4-5 minutes, or until bubbles cease and lentils are nice and crispy. Remove lentils from oil with a fine mesh spider and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
Store once cool in a dry container (will last about 2 weeks.)
For the tahini
Blend all together in blender or with a stick blender.
Adjust lemon juice and mushroom powder/miso to taste.
If sauce is too thin add more tahini. If sauce is too thick add more water.
For the avocado
Heat saute pan over medium high heat until hot and lightly smoking.
Cut each avocado in half and remove pit.
Sprinkle salt generously over all 4 halves, then turn over to remove excess salt.
Add olive oil to saute pan.
Place avocados cut side down onto hot pan and weigh down with another pan with a few full cans or bottles in it (just to weigh down the avocados).
Cook over medium high heat for 2-4 minutes until the cut side is a dark golden brown and has developed a nice crust.
Place avocado seared side up on a plate.
Squeeze lemon juice over each avocado half.
Sprinkle each avocado half with about 1 tablespoon of za’atar- it should coat the entire cut side of the avocado.
Add a pinch of crispy lentils into the avocado hole.
Fill hole with tahini sauce, and drizzle over the rest of the avocado in a zigzag pattern.
Sprinkle more crispy lentils over the top of the avocados.
Serve warm with a spoon for scooping! Enjoy!