Root Vegetable and Red Lentil Tray Bake

My mom has proclaimed that she could live on pasta alone. Funnily enough, I don't recall pasta featuring heavily on her dinner rotation when her dining room was full of kiddos. But I totally get her. It's how I feel about this vegetarian tray bake. I could eat it noon and night for weeks on end before I grew tired. As I don't just cook for myself, it is a dish that makes it onto the table every few months. 

The warm Ethiopian spices scatter on before baking and drizzle of dressings at serving, make this a meal fit to impress should you wish to go meatless for company. The quick clean up adds to the overall joy of the dish.

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika 
pinch of ground cloves
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 carrots, washed and rough cut
2 turnips, peeled and rough cut
2 parsnips, peeled, cored, rough cut
3 large shallots, peeled and rough cut
2 tablespoons grapeseed or avocado oil
1 cup red lentils, sorted
2 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste
Tahini dressing for garnish (see below)
Mixed herb and walnut pesto for garnish (see below)
Handful of torn mint leaves for garnish

Heat oven to 425. Cover a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Mix the dried spices and salt in a bowl. Toss all the vegetables with oil. Sprinkle on spice mix and toss to combine. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and roast in oven for 25 minutes. While vegetables are roasting, heat broth to a boil. When vegetables are done roasting, remove sheet pan but leave oven on. Scatter lentils over vegetables and cover with broth -- gently stirring to ensure lentils are all covered with hot broth.

Return pan to oven and cook for 15 minutes. Turn oven off and allow the allow the vegetables and lentils to rest for five minutes in the oven. 

Just before serving, drizzle dressings over and scatter mint leaves. Serve with crusty bread and additional dressings on the side. 

Tahini dressing
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients together and combine using an immersion blender.

Mixed herb and walnut pesto
1 cup mixed green herbs (I used Italian parsley, dill, and mint)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients together and process until smooth using a food processor or an immersion blender.


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