Believe it or not, Canada is now the world’s largest exporter of lentils to the global marketplace, selling to over 100 countries each year. Yet this humble legume is still fairly unknown, aside from being a Vegan diet staple.
I’ll be honest with you, aside from curries and the occasional soup, I haven’t really been familiar with lentils. That all changed a few weeks ago when I got invited to an exclusive dinner hosted by Canadian Lentils. The three-course menu was curated by celebrated Vancouver chefs Pino Posteraro of Cioppino’s and Trevor Bird of Fable Kitchen.
The dishes incorporated innovating ways to cook with lentils.
Our first course was a delicious lobster and lentil dish from Chef Pino – setting the standard quite high for the rest of the evening. The lentils had a nice texture that complimented the buttery flavours on my plate.
Using lentils instead of a traditional side dish like a risotto opens a world of cooking possibilities.
There are ways to “hide” lentils in your cooking, like our next dish by Chef Trevor: a lentil sausage with stuffed apple and a bacon and apple salad. A very hearty and gamey dish with intense flavours.
The next course was a collaboration between both chefs: The Country Lamb Curry with French Lentils. The texture of the meat and the lentils worked very well together.
For me, the most surprising course was dessert. Starting with Trevor Bird’s Lentil Cake with Burnt Honey and Goat Cheese. The only hints of lentils were found on the cake’s consistency – a tad grainy. However, the goat cheese cream gave the cake such an infusion of flavour and moisture. The burnt honey ice cream complimented the dish to perfection.
Not to be outperformed by Chef Trevor, Chef Pino’s Chocolate and Lentil Trio was a love letter to everything chocolate. A chocolate mousse cake coated in a hard chocolate shell sprinkled with chocolate-covered lentils. Bravo!
For more information on Canadian lentils or recipes, check out their website.