Skinny Southwestern Red Lentil and Roasted Pepper Dip Recipe
This thick dip has complex, smoky roasted flavours with a satisfying fullness to the taste, despite being almost fat-free -- so it's a very healthy dip you can confidently put out for your guests. It's also much less futzing than many other dips are -- and you can make it a day ahead. Yield: 500 g (2 cups) of dip
Rinse the lentils and put into a saucepan with the garlic and bay leaf. Cover with water, bring to the boil, then simmer until the lentils are mushy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Watch that the pan doesn't simmer dry. Put into a sieve and let sit in the sieve to drain for at least 15 minutes. Toss out the bay leaf from the lentils. (OR cook in pressure cooker according to your pressure cooker's directions.)
For the roasted peppers, use 3 that are jarred in water (or oil), but not brine, or, make your own as follows: bake the peppers in the oven until the skin is blistered and blackened. Remove from heat, place in a pot or bowl and cover for 15 minutes (which lets steam work on the skin), then peel the skins, and discard all seeds.
Place the lentils, roasted peppers, and bread crumbs in a food processor and purée. Add the remainder of the ingredients and blend again. Adjust taste as desired. Optional: a few drops of your favourite hot sauce, etc.
Decorate with a sprinkle of smoked paprika (optional) when you turn it into a serving dish.
You can make this a day ahead and store in the refrigerator, covered. Just bring out an hour before serving as it's best served at room temperature.
The red peppers called for are the "sweeter" type of peppers, such as bell peppers or shepherd peppers.