Umbrian lentils—grown in the rolling hills of Umbria—are loved by chefs and home cooks alike for their rich, nutty flavor, supple texture and ability to hold their shape after cooking. Plus they are packed with nutrients, chock-full of fiber and lean protein—making them the ideal for healthful yet satisfying meals.
Here we've paired these prized pulses with deeply roasted cauliflower and carrots seasoned with aromatic wild fennel pollen, and topped with a zippy chimichurri made from the carrot tops (no food waste here!).
Cook's note: If you are unable to find carrots with their tops still on, you can make the chimichurri using solely parsley or a mixture of your favorite green herbs.
Recipe by Asha Loupy
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
To make the carrot top chimichurri, finely chop 3/4 cup of the tender carrot top greens and the parsley leaves together. Transfer to a small bowl and add the minced shallot, garlic, red wine vinegar, hot pepper in olive oil and a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine. Season with salt, to taste. Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors marry.
While you are making the chimichurri, bring a large pot of lightly salted water a boil over high heat. Add the lentils, reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered until the lentils are cooked through, but still retain a bite, about 20-22 minutes. Drain, transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
While the lentils are cooking and the chimichurri is marrying, roast the vegetables. Drizzle a large sheet pan with the remaining 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the baby carrots and the cauliflower florets to the pan, tossing to coat in the olive oil. Sprinkle the vegetables evenly with fennel pollen, salt and pepper, toss to combine and spread vegetables out in a single layer on the pan.
Roast the vegetables, without turning, until they are tender and starting to turn a a deep golden brown, about 25-28 minutes.
To serve, toss the reserved cooked lentils with half of the carrot top chimichurri. Spoon the dressed lentils over the vegetables straight onto the sheet pan. Serve the remaining carrot top chimichurri on the side.