A meeting in Boston last weekend afforded many serendipitous treats: beautiful spring weather in place of the predicted rain, a lovely stroll through neighborhood streets of my childhood bursting with blooming dogwoods, a chance encounter with my favorite high school French teacher, and some precious time with my parents as just parents, rather than grandparents or parents-in-law. Also, I whipped up a delicious lunch for us with some roasted carrots and a packet of red lentils that had been lingering in the pantry since my last visit.
With the lentils I made approximately this pilaf and layered it on some lettuce leaves with mango slices on the side and the roasted carrots on top, finally drizzled everything with approximately this spiced yogurt sauce. Like the rest of the weekend, it was an unanticipated treat, well worth savoring.
Roasted Cumin Carrots and Red Lentil Salad
serves four for lunch
Roasted cumin carrots
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp paprika
pinch of salt
good drizzle of olive oil
Lettuce for four
1. Rinse 1 cup of red lentils and soak for an hour or two.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Trim and scrub the carrots and cut them along the diagonal into 1 inch long chunks. On a large, rimmed baking sheet, toss together the carrot chunks, spices, and olive oil such that the carrots are well coated. Spread out the carrots in a single layer and roast in the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes, shaking every ten minutes or so, until they are soft and have started to brown and caramelize on the edges.
3. While the carrots are roasting, assemble the spices for the lentil pilaf and prepare the yogurt sauce.
4. Cook the lentils, according to the pilaf directions, which will take about five minutes.
5. Assemble the lettuce on plates and arrange mango slices around the edges. Scoop on a pile of the red lentils in the center and top with a generous serving of roasted carrots. Drizzle over yogurt sauce and serve with more yogurt sauce at the table. Enjoy.