These savory Lentil Palmiers with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Feta Cheese are not only buttery & flaky but they are also loaded with protein & easy to make. They truly are the perfect appetizers for parties, wine tastings or any time you want to add a little extra protein boosted elegance into your day.
This post was created in partnership with my friends at Lentils.org for their #LetsLentil campaign. As always, all thoughts & opinions are purely my own. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that inspire The Road to Honey and keep it thriving!!!
Will you run the Spartan race with me?, the Mr. asked in such an enduring tone that the mere thought of letting “N-O” drip from my lips left me feeling like a complete oger.
Oye vey! Why did you have to ask it that way? If you would have demanded, or even nonchalantly asked, that I run this grueling obstacle course race with you it would have been so much easier to say “not on your life buddy”.
But no. . .you had to be all sweet and vulnerable about it so that I had no choice but to hesitantly say I would give it some serious consideration and train with you in an attempt to gauge whether or not my body could endure such an intense beating that likely would leave me battered, bruised and most definitely so sore that walking alone would be a miracle in of itself.
Who knew that this angelic request would send my world into a fast paced frenzy?
Weekends were consumed with long runs, rain or shine, on trails so hilly you would have sworn that you took your last breath a mile back.
And if that weren’t bad enough, there were mandatory burpees where I catapulted my body on top of thorny sticks and stones that mercilessly gouged my hands at every mile on the mile. Oh. . . and let’s not forget about the tick bite (which I mistakenly thought was an artsy fartsy kind of bruise. . .oopsy!) that left my family and friends panicking that I would surely be left for dead any minute now.
And that’s just the running part. There were hours upon hours spent in the gym doing pushups until my body collapsed beneath me. Naturally there were the rituals of lifting weights so heavy that the days following made simple tasks, such as tying my shoes and feeding the furry four legged kiddos, a painful nuisance that I tried valiantly to pawn off on others.
Despite all the blood, sweat, and more sweat I had put into training, I made the difficult decision that the Mr. would be better off running the race solo. You see, Youtube video after Youtube video of previous races clued me in that the race would most definitely include obstacles that reached far into the heavens. And since my fear of heights had the magical powers of sending my limbs into a frenzied panic. . .well. . .let’s just say that we might have run into a wee bit of a problem had I actually decided to move forward with the race. Besides, the Mr. needed his personal photographer to capture all those death defying acts as his muddy muscles fought diligently to break through the drenched shirt that clung to him like a second skin, didn’t he?
While these workouts have been both rewarding and exhausting, they have also been a time drain. More often than not we find that when normal folks are pulling back the sheets on their warm and cozy beds and preparing for a night of sweet slumber, the Mr. and I are frantically rummaging through the pantry in search of power packed foods that can be easily prepared to quickly refuel our wary bodies.
And you want to know something funny? While all those exhausting workouts should have given us permission to indulge in something sweet and calorie laden, our mind, body and souls were turned off by these very foods. Instead they yearned for healthy foods full of proteins, vitamins and fiber. The types of food that would help our bodies recover and repair from all the torturous acts we had just willingly bestowed upon it. I guess the body has a funny way of working that way, doesn’t it?
On more occasion than one we found ourselves reaching for lentils because not only are they tasty, but they are also full of protein and fiber. Even better, they can be on the table in less than 20 minutes so we can feed ourselves lickety split and hose ourselves off before it becomes brutally obvious to the neighbors that we had just spent hours “sweatin’ to the oldies.”
Okay. . .I have to admit that these Lentil Palmiers with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Feta weren’t necessarily the type of food we found ourselves noshing on after our torture. . .I mean exercise sessions. They are a little too dressed up for that, but boy do they make for an elegant and tasty appetizer when we have guests over or just want something a little extra fancy on those occasions that we find we have some time to sit around in the evening on the rooftop deck sipping a glass of vino or two (which happened this Sunday!!).
And while these Lentil Palmiers with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Feta look super fancy, they really are a cinch to make since I use store bought puff pastry and I cook my lentils ahead of time and store them in the freezer until I need them. All you have to do is rinse the lentils with fresh water, simmer them until tender, then throw them in the food processor with some tahini, lemon juice, a little bit of olive oil and some spices. . .and BAM! . . .you have a lentil hummus that is tasty on it’s own right. You could stop there really. Or you could go the extra mile by spreading it on some puff pastry, topping it with pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and feta, rolling it up and baking the slices. . .just like I did here.
To add a little extra va-va-voom, I topped these Lentil Palmiers with some ground sumac because I really can’t resist the tang this Middle Eastern spice adds to food. I suggest that you top your Lentil Palmiers with this irresistible spice too. I promise it will be worth the extra effort it takes to track this spice down if you don’t already have it stocked in your pantry.
I also topped these Lentil Palmiers with some white and black sesame seeds for extra texture and crunch but that is completely up to you if you want to do the same.
I am happy to report that the Mr. survived his first Spartan race. As a matter of fact, he has been bitten by Spartan fever and has already signed up for the Super Spartan this coming August and is trying to convince me to give the Spartan Sprint a try this fall. We shall see. In the meantime, we have added grueling Crossfit sessions to our workout schedules so you know we will be scarfing down those little protein packed lentils by the truckload.
If you are a big ride or die lentil fan too, be sure to check out my Lentil & Carrot Tart with Lentil Crust. It’s a tasty one too.
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- 1/2 cup green lentils, uncooked
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 medium tomato, peeled & diced
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper, to taste
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cool
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts, chopped
- 2 large egg yolks
- sumac (recommended), for topping
- toasted sesame seeds, black sesame seeds (optional)
Rinse lentils thoroughly.
Place lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaf & fresh thyme into a medium pot.
Bring to a boil, then cover & simmer over low heat until lentils are tender (about 15-20 minutes).
While lentils are cooking, remove the skin of the tomato by bringing a pot of water to a roaring bowl. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare a bowl of ice water & set aside. Slice a shallow "X" on the bottom of the tomato. Gently place the tomato in the boiling water for 25-30 seconds (but no longer as the tomato will start to cook).
During this time you should see the "X" split open. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomato from the boiling water & submerge it into the ice bath. Starting at the "X", gently pull the skin back.
Once skin is removed chop the tomato. Set aside.
Discard the herbs & drain lentils in a colander or fine mesh sieve. Note: To save time, you can cook lentils ahead of time & store in an air tight container for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Place butter & 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Once the butter melts, add garlic & cumin & heat until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Add chopped tomatoes, cilantro, & cooked lentils to the pan & cook until warmed (about 2-3 minutes).
Cool lentil mixture slightly, then add to food processor.
Add in the tahini, lemon juice, & salt & pepper to taste. Puree until smooth.
With the food processor running, stream in 1/4 cup of olive oil & continue to puree until smooth & well combined.
The hummus can be refrigerated overnight, if desired.
Carefully unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry (defrosted but still cool) & place it on a piece of parchment paper.
Roll the pastry lightly with a rolling pin until it's 9 1/2 by 11 1/2-inches .
Spread about 1/2 cup of hummus evenly over the top of the pastry.
Sprinkle with the sun dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, & feta cheese.
Start by tucking one of the long ends of the puff pastry down & tightly roll it towards the center. To keep the puff pasty smooth & roll it evenly, I have found it best to use the parchment paper to help roll the pastry. To do this, I pick up the parchment paper evenly on the side I am rolling & use it to tuck the edge of the pastry in & lift and roll little by little.
Once finished rolling the first side into the center, rotate the parchment paper 180 degrees so that the other long side is facing you. Roll this second side into the center until it meets the first side.
Wrap the parchment paper tightly around the palmier & place it in the freezer for 30-60 minutes. This will make it easier to cut. If you don't plan on serving the palmiers that day, you can also wrap them tightly with plastic wrap & store in the freezer until you are ready to bake them.
Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Whisk together egg yolks with 2 teaspoons of water.
Lightly brush the rolls with egg yolks. If desired, sprinkle sumac &/or sesame seeds on the rolls.
Using a sharp knife, cut the prepared rolls into 1/4 inch thick slices & place them face up 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Brush the top of the slice with egg yolk & sprinkle with the sumac &/or sesame seeds.
If desired, use a wooden skewer to pull the bottom of the palmier down into a point so that it resembles a heart.
Bake until the slices puff up & are golden brown (10-20 minutes, depending on thickness of the slices).
Bets enjoyed while still warm.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lentils.org. The opinions and text are all mine.