Food

Celebrate Canadian lentils

Canadian Living
Food

Celebrate Canadian lentils

A delicious event is currently taking place in Canada -- and you can take part! As a tasty way to celebrate lentils, 24 restaurants in seven different cities across the country -- Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, Winnipeg, Sasktatoon, Ottawa and Toronto -- are featuring a lentil-based dish on their menu for the entire month of June. The cross-Canada competition will crown a winning dish, which diners can select by voting online on the Fun de Lentil website. Voters will also be entered in a giveaway to win a trip to one of the participating cities. It's a fun and interactive way to celebrate the humble Canadian lentil -- as well as a great way to think outside of the box when it comes to cooking them. You might be used to seeing lentils in soups or salads, but this competition showcases an array of different ways to utilize pulses. But first a few facts you might not be aware of! Canada is the world's largest lentil producer, with 95% of those lentils being grown in Saskatchewan. Most of that crop is exported overseas to countries like India, Turkey and Egypt. Here in the Canadian Living Test Kitchen, we're quite partial to lentils: they're filling, easy to cook, high in fibre and also a good source of protein. Lentils are also incredibly versatile which makes this restaurant challenge an especially tasty one. And, the fact that they're grown locally, is the real cherry on top of the cake. I was lucky enough to sample the dishes being offered at the Toronto restaurants selected for the challenge. Two of the dishes really stood out for me. The Celeriac-dusted Veal Loin on Spiced Black Gram and Red Lentil with Scallops, an Herb Lentil Cake and Pickled Spring Vegetables, from Pangaea was outstanding. It was incredibly original, full of texture and a great take on spiced lentils. fun de lentil I also loved the Lentil Hodgepodge with Spring Vegetables from Boralia. The dish is a real feast for the eyes first, with watermelon radish, beets, carrots, all cooked to tender-crisp perfection, served on a bed of beluga lentil pur ée and topped with a red lentil cracker for a little added crunch. fun de lentil Will you be trying some of the restaurants participating in the challenge? If you do, let us know what you think! Photography by Jennifer Bartoli
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Food

Celebrate Canadian lentils

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