Veg Out: Seared Avocado With Fried Lentils

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.

Veg Out: Seared Avocado With Fried Lentils
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Rebecca Arnold blew our minds with one of her most popular dishes: seared avocado with fried lentils, drizzled with a tangy, savory tahini sauce.
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  • 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
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 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
  1. :::lentils:::
  2. Bring water to a boil in a 5 quart (or larger) saucepot.
  3. Add lentils to boiling water.
  4. Boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Strain immediately and let lentils cool about 2 minutes.
  6. In cleaned saucepot add oil and heat to 350 degrees, using a fry thermometer to check temp.
  7. 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.
  8. Store once cool in a dry container (will last about 2 weeks.)
  9. :::tahini:::
  10. Blend all together in blender or with a stick blender.
  11. Adjust lemon juice and mushroom powder/miso to taste.
  12. If sauce is too thin add more tahini. If sauce is too thick add more water.
  13. :::avocado:::
  14. Heat saute pan over medium high heat until hot and lightly smoking.
  15. Cut each avocado in half and remove pit.
  16. Sprinkle salt generously over all 4 halves, then turn over to remove excess salt.
  17. Add olive oil to saute pan.
  18. 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).
  19. Cook over medium high heat for 2-4 minutes until the cut side is a dark golden brown and has developed a nice crust.
  20. Place avocado seared side up on a plate.
  21. Squeeze lemon juice over each avocado half.
  22. Sprinkle each avocado half with about 1 tablespoon of za’atar- it should coat the entire cut side of the avocado.
  23. Add a pinch of crispy lentils into the avocado hole.
  24. Fill hole with tahini sauce, and drizzle over the rest of the avocado in a zigzag pattern.
  25. Sprinkle more crispy lentils over the top of the avocados.
  26. Serve warm with a spoon for scooping! Enjoy!
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