YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Hugs (Lentils) and Kisses (Carrots)

Bring a platterful of this amazingly delicious recipe to the table, full to the brim with tiny round hugs (lentils), and cross-hatched X’s (carrots), and share the love all around. Everyone will be so glad you did. You can serve it warm, or at room temperature. It’s great either way.

3 lbs. slender-sized carrots, peeled
3 + 3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 cup fresh herbs (any mix of dill, mint, and/or basil) chopped coarsely
1/4 cup Majhoul dates or prunes, pitted and thinly sliced
1 lb. French green lentils
1 large yellow onion, peeled, quartered, and sliced thinly crosswise
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped coarsely

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Toss carrots with 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. paprika. Season generously with salt & black pepper, and spread on 2 large baking sheets.
2. Roast 20-30 minutes until carrots are browning and tender, shaking the pans after 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and mix with fresh herbs (dill, mint and/or basil) and fruit.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add water to cover the lentils by two inches, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 25 minutes until tender, and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
4. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a deep skillet until fragrant. Add onion and a generous pinch of salt. Stir frequently until browned, approx 15 minutes. Add garlic, remaining cumin and coriander, and cinnamon, and continue to stir for 1 minute more. Add lentils and their remaining cooking liquid and cook 2 minutes until heated thoroughly. Stir in lemon juice and fresh cilantro.
5. Transfer the lentil mixture to a large platter, and decorate the top by making X’s with the carrots.

Bon appetit!
Thank you to Better Homes & Gardens for a prior version of this recipe. It’s not the 1970’s anymore, and BHG knows it.

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