Anti-Inflammatory Lemon-Herb Lentil Dip

Lemon-Herb Lentil Dip
Stephanie Clarke, MS, RD & Willow Jarosh, MS, RD
Total Time 40 min
Prep 5 min, Cook 35 min
Yield 2 cups (106 cals per 1/4 cup)

Lentils are antioxidant rich, protein packed, and fiberific. In other words, they’re an anti-inflammatory diet dream. They also cook up much more quickly than beans. The flavors in this dish come from veggies, herbs, and spices, which means the whole dish is not overloaded with sodium.
 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium stalk celery, chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preparation

1. In a large pot, cover lentils, onion, and celery with 2 ½ cups of water.

2. Bring water to a boil then turn down heat to bring the water to a simmer.

3. Cook lentils for 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain and reserve any remaining cooking liquid.

4. In a food processor or high speed blender, blend lentils with 1 tablespoon olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, 3/4 of the zest, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper until smooth.

Add reserved cooking broth in 1 tablespoon increments to smooth if needed.

5. Garnish with additional parsley and lemon zest, and drizzle with remaining teaspoon olive oil before serving.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Try using pre-cooked lentils when you’re extra tight on time. To do this cook the onion and celery in 1 teaspoon olive oil until soft, then add all ingredients to the blender, using warm water or vegetable broth to thin as necessary. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder before blending for a curry dip.

For more lemon flavor (and vitamin C!) increase the amount of lemon zest and/or juice, the dip can definitely handle it!

For a burst of heat, add a dash of cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin, which also helps fight inflammation. You can also add a dash of smoked paprika for a smoky dip.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Cook the lentils a bit more than you might normally, since you want them very soft and blend-able.

You can serve this as a dip with crudite and whole wheat pita bread. Or, it’s delicious used as a sandwich spread. Since it contains protein, it can be used as a vegetarian source of protein in sandwiches.

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