Spicy Lentil Tart with Pomegranate and Mint

From 6 Bittersweets (Guest Post by Trudy of veggie.num.num)
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves 4

1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry (thawed)
1 free range egg lightly whisked or 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
3 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp warm water
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp salt flakes or rock salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 red chili, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup pine nuts, roasted
1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 tsp sumac
1/2 pomegranate, seeds only

To serve
1/2 cup tahini paste
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 Tbsp water
Extra lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F.

Bring the stock, lentils, bay leaves and cinnamon stick to a gentle simmer in a large pot, allow to cook for 15-20 minutes over a medium/low heat, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender and liquid absorbed. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick and strain off any excess liquid, set aside.

Grind the black peppercorns, salt flakes or rock salt, cumin, paprika and coriander seeds together in a mortar & pestle or spice grinder to form a fine spice powder.

Combine the pomegranate molasses with the warm water until smooth, set aside.

Lay the thawed puff pastry sheet out on a baking tray, carefully score a 3cm (1 inch) border around the outside and brush with the prepared egg or non-dairy milk being careful not to brush over the score mark.

Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the pastry just begins to puff and golden, remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile fry off the onion in the olive oil for a few minutes over a medium heat in a large frying pan until soft, add the cooked lentils and prepared spice powder and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat.

Add the pomegranate molasses & water mixture and the pine nuts, fry the lentils until they just begin to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan, add the fresh herbs reserving half the mint and stir though.

Spoon the lentil mixture onto the prepared puff pastry sheet, sprinkle over the sumac and return to the oven for 15 minutes until pastry is golden.

Meanwhile whisk the tahini paste with the olive oil, lemon juice and water until smooth.

Remove the tart from the oven a serve sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and reserved mint. Accompany with the tahini dressing and wedges of fresh lemon.

A wonderfully colourful and tasty vegetarian recipe perfect for parties or picnics, enjoy!!

{This recipe was inspired by the Spicy Lebanese Lamb Tart found in ABC’s Delicious Magazine.}