Verbena Red Lentil Spread
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 4 whole cloves
- 1/2 small head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 carrot
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus additional for serving
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
- 1/2 cup red lentils, picked over for stones
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground fennel seed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Stick whole cloves in the onion, then place it, the garlic, celery, carrot,
bay leaves, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and salt in a medium-size pot together
with 3 cups of water. Bring to a simmer; cook for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash the lentils in several changes of cold water until the water
is clear. Soak lentils in fresh cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and add to
- Toast the coriander and fennel in a dry pan a few minutes until fragrant,
then add them, together with the red pepper flakes and black pepper, to the
vegetable bouillon. Simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove bouillon from heat; bring to room temperature. Discard onion, celery,
carrot and bay leaves. Stir in the remaining half cup of oil and adjust seasonings.
Place spread in a serving bowl, and cover with a thin layer of extra-virgin
- Serve at room temperature.
Leftover spread can be refrigerated up to one week.