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Beluga Lentil Toast Points with Garlic-Chive Goat Cheese

March 10, 2008
appetizers_belugalentiltoastpoints_1.jpg

Think those little shiny dark spheres on top of the toast points are beluga caviar?

Guess again!

I had a bag of beluga lentils that I’d recently purchased from chefshop.com in my pantry, and I was dying to use them…but I didn’t want to just throw them into a lentil salad or soup. No, I wanted to think of some way to use them that would really let them shine — and play off the fact that they look just like caviar! I was going down the route of some type of appetizer when I came across a recipe on 101cookbooks.com; this recipe used the tiny lentils as a topping to a crostini…bingo!

belugalentils.jpg

I used whole grain bread, removed the crusts, and cut it on the diagonal to make triangles, then drizzled these with olive oil, coarse salt and pepper, and toasted them in the oven. (I used the Ezekial brand of sprouted grain bread — have you ever tried their english muffins and bread? They’re fabulous!)

For the goat cheese spread, I chopped up a bunch of chives and garlic, added a little bit of milk to thin it out, and mixed it really well in a bowl with a 4-oz. log of goat cheese. If you wanted to skip mixing up the spread and just use something like garlic-herb Boursin cheese instead, by all means, go for it. I simmered the lentils to cook them; they’re tiny so they only take about 15 minutes — then tossed them with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar, salt and pepper when they were drained but still warm.

appetizers_belugalentiltoastpoints_2.jpg

The lentils, when they’re cooked, are about the same size and similar in flavor to the tiny French green lentils (Le Puy lentils), so if you can’t find the beluga lentils, those would be just as tasty and pretty.

I actually think this might be my new favorite appetizer. Not that I’m knocking the recipe that previously held this title — but these are just so much fun!

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Beluga Lentil Toast Points with Garlic-Chive Goat Cheese

Inspired by this recipe on 101cookbooks.com

Ingredients
1/4 cup beluga lentils
about 2 cups boiling salted water
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red-wine vinegar

4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1 tbsp milk (or as much as you need to thin it out to the consistency you want)
1 large garlic clove, minced

5 slices whole grain bread, crusts removed and bread slices cut in half diagonally

additional chives, to garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the toast triangles on a baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Bake until the edges are turning golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool.

While the toast points are baking, you can make the goat cheese mixture. Combine the goat cheese, chopped chives, minced garlic, goat cheese and 1 tbsp milk in a bowl and mix well, adding a bit more milk if it seems too thick. Season with coarse salt and pepper.

Cook the lentils in about 2 cups of boiling salted water for about 15 minutes, until al dente. Drain and place the lentils in a bowl, then toss them with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp red wine vinegar.

Assemble the toast points by spreading some garlic chive goat cheese on the toasted bread, then spooning some of the lentils on top. Garnish with a tiny sprinkling of additional chopped chives.

Makes 10 toast points; can easily be doubled.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2008 8:19 am

    These really are adorable!

  2. March 11, 2008 4:41 am

    Gorgeous! It really does look like caviar. Nice one.

  3. badhuman permalink
    March 11, 2008 11:05 am

    That looks really good! My fiance and I are looking at ways to incorporate more lentils into our diet.

    N.

    http://badhuman.wordpress.com

  4. March 12, 2008 12:07 am

    Ooo wow I definitely would like to try those! They look great.

  5. March 12, 2008 3:23 pm

    Thanks, everyone! Yes, we’re always looking for more ways to eat lentils, too. I just love ‘em.

  6. January 1, 2010 5:45 pm

    MMMMMMMMMMM,….georgous & healthy at the same time,…

  7. March 11, 2012 7:54 am

    This looks great – can’t wait to try it!!

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