Cook the Book: Puy Lentil Galettes

[Photographs: Jonathan Lovekin]

You have to love how Yotam Ottolenghi thinks about vegetarian mains in Plenty. He plays with colors, textures, flavors, and even temperatures to create dishes that are innovative and even thrilling, while remaining enjoyable on a very down to earth level.

These Puy Lentil Galettes showcase Ottolenghi's playful techniques and ability to combine simple ingredients into something entirely new and exciting. It was the lovely photo of these lentil-topped galettes that drew me into this recipe, but the idea of warm puff pastry topped with cool yogurt-y lentil salad was what got me into the kitchen.

The lentil topping begins with Puy lentils, a dark green French variety that retains a bit of a bite after cooking. They're mixed with sweetly browned onions, pan roasted and ground cumin and coriander, Greek yogurt, fresh spinach leaves, and chopped mint and cilantro. Playing with cooked and raw ingredients keeps this salad hearty and light. Piled on top of crisp, just out of the oven puffed pastry, the combination is brilliant. The pastry warms the salad a bit and acts as a buttery base for the rustic lentil salad.

These galettes can work as both an elegant first course, or canapés if cut into smaller pieces, as well as a fantastic vegetarian main.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Plenty to give away this week.

Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. Copyright © 2011. Published by Chronicle Books. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.