Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Guest Post: Spicy Lentil Tart with Pomegranate and Mint

Those of you who've been reading my blog for some time will know that I eat a mostly vegetarian diet (plus occasional seafood) and am a BIG fan of vegetarian and vegan cooking. One of my long-time favorite blogs has been Veggie num num, written by the wonderful Trudy from Australia. Not only does she take gorgeous photos, she also creates the most creative vegetarian recipes. They're guaranteed to have you drooling whether you're a veggie or meat-lover! I tried her Spanish Chickpea Balls a few months ago and was captivated by the unique spicing. Equally mesmerizing is the savory lentil, pomegranate, and mint tart she's sharing today, which -- believe it or not -- was adapted from a lamb recipe! I'll let her tell you all about it now. Thanks for your stunning guest post and for being such an inspiration to me, Trudy!

VeggieNumNum's Guest Post Lentil Tart
I have to say I am a little excited to be here! Without a doubt I am a devoted fan of 6 Bittersweets and Xiaolu’s beautiful inspiring desserts and photography and so thrilled and honoured to be guest posting today!!

I am constantly blown away with Xiaolu’s clever and amazingly scrumptious looking recipes. Her talent for creating truly beautiful and imaginative food is absolutely inspiring. So my first thought when I started to brainstorm ideas for a recipe to share was it must be something elegant and pretty and of course delicious.

VeggieNumNum's Guest Post Lentil Tart
Being a vegetarian it can be hard to convince people that you eat interesting, varied and delicious foods. I still think there is a popular misconception out there that vegetarian food is boring and plain and can’t be inspiring and tasty and beautiful in it’s own right.

There is nothing I love more than turning this idea on its head and providing vegetarian recipes that I really hope everyone finds delicious and appealing!!

VeggieNumNum's Guest Post Lentil Tart

I had been meaning to experiment with a vegetarian version of a Lebanese tart for some time and thought this post would be the perfect opportunity to do just that. Something I find so rewarding in the kitchen is to take a traditional meat dish and transform it into a vegetarian meal. I love the challenge and the fun of experimenting with different ingredients and flavours and this tart did not disappoint.

Middle Eastern flavours are some of my absolute favourites and this dish is wonderfully fragrant, spicy, colourful and I hope you’ll agree super tasty.

Thank you so very much Xiaolu for the opportunity to share this veggie recipe and I hope you’ll all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating and photographing it for you.

VeggieNumNum's Guest Post Lentil Tart
Spicy Lentil Tart with Pomegranate and Mint [Printable Recipe]
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.}


  1. Xiaolu, Thx for the introduction to this new to me blogger. Gorgeous post and I can totally see how it was inspired from originally a non-vegetarian dish. Adore your space as you already know. Shulie

  2. wow what a beautiful combination and recipe. Loved the pics

  3. What an interesting combination, but love the spicy earthy of the lentils and then the sweet pop of the pomegranate! YUM! Amazing photography as well!

  4. Lovely guest post! Thanks for introducing me to something new too :) Gorgeous photos.

  5. That tart is fantastic! I really love the lentil topping and the spices you used. Very original and far from being bland.



  6. Awesome ........ The first thing that caught my attention were the flawless clicks. The recipe is also awesome .... Kool one using pomegranate.

  7. That sounds like a fabulous recipe! Love the use of pomegranate... As always, your photographs are absolutely perfect! A great guest post, Xiaolu!

  8. I love Trudy's site! She makes the most interesting and creative vegetarian recipes, and this one is no exception!

  9. As a fellow mostly-vegetarian-and-vegan cook who loves pomegranate but has never in my life cooked with pastry, I say hurrah! Hurrah for collaborative blogger guest post deliciousness! Hurrah!

  10. Glad you guys like this. Trudy is truly a queen of veggie cooking ^_^

  11. Oh wow! This is a really neat recipe. Love it!

  12. Looks fabulous and sounds delicious! I love Lebanese food! :D

  13. They're a lot of savours in here!! Sounds different and looks yummy!

  14. Trudy, I love pomegranate seeds and can't wait to make your lentil tart for Bob and me. Thank you too for introducing me to Xiaolu's beautiful blog. I know someone special who will be in raptures over such delicious baking. Your photographs are really great (as are Xiaolu's). Thanks. Erica

  15. That looks absolutely yummy!! Love how the lentils are used!

  16. WOW. this looks amazing!!! love the pommy seeds combined with lentils!

  17. Wow! That is seriously something special!

  18. oh these flavors sound so fun together!

  19. Fabulous! And I really like your photography!

  20. Lovely post! This tart looks fabulous :) I love vegetarian and I'm absolutely loving this recipe.



  21. Very filling and delicious looking tart. Had never thought of lentils in puff pastry...will surely try!!

  22. What a wonderful guest post! Gorgeous pictures and recipe. :-)

  23. Really cool pictures and amazing recipe.

  24. Hi Xialolu, This is looking absolutely delightful. Loved the new combo of ingredients and the recipe is so nicely made and presented. Saving this recipe of urs and wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day….Sonia !!!

  25. I am always on the lookout for more recipes with pomegranate molasses, so this looks great! Lots of tasty flavours. :)

  26. Such an interesting recipe! I love how pomegranates make everything look so festive and pretty!

  27. This is gorgeous and unusual. Thanks for sharing and for introducing me to another great blog to follow!

  28. Aw Xiaolu I LOVE Trudy and you ;-)! She is such an amazing, humble and talented person. And how gorgeous is this tart? This is on my list of must makes.

  29. Christine's PantryJune 11, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    Great post! Congrats on your award!

  30. I will have to try this soon... gorgeous!

  31. Yay! Wonderful to see all these lovely comments!! Thanks everyone and most especially Xiaolu, so happy to hear you all like the look of the lentil tart!!

  32. This looks wonderful. Just wondering for party catering - could you prepare the lentil mix the day before and then put on pastry and cook day of party?


I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu