Mushroom Lentil Tacos with Pistachio Crema

Serves 3-4

Lentils are most frequently found in soups, but here I combine them with earthy mushrooms to get a savory taco filling with bite.  If you are just beginning to work with legumes, these French green lentils are a good place to start.  They are available in a can or you can cook them from the bulk section. The tacos are really all about this great pistachio crema though—slightly tangy from the lemon and creamy and pale green from the pistachios, it’s a great  way to get flavor into every bite of this very vegetal meal.

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 8-10 ounce package shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and chopped
1 8-10 ounce package cremini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 15-ounce can brown or green lentils
1 teaspoon tamari
1 cup pistachios, soaked in water (for 10 minutes-3 hours)
2 scallions, green parts chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
12 corn tortillas
1 5-ounce bag arugula
Store-bought kimchi

1. In a large skillet, heat oil.  Add chopped mushrooms and pinch of salt and let cook down until the moisture has evaporated and they turn golden.  Add the minced garlic, cumin and red pepper flake and stir.

2. Meanwhile, in a high-speed blender, combined drained pistachios, lemon juice, salt, chopped green scallions and enough fresh water to combine.  Blend until it’s smooth and thick like crema. Taste and season for salt and lemon juice.

3. Then add the lentils to the skillet with the mushrooms, stir and add tamari and cook until lentils are warmed up.

4. Assemble tacos: lay down three tortillas per person and add mushroom-lentil mix, a dollop of pistachio crema, a fistful of arugula and top with kimchi.  Devour.