Do you consider the phrase “lentil culinary delights” an oxymoron?
Give the devoted legume lovers of Pullman a chance to win you over starting Friday at the 22nd annual National Lentil Festival.
The festivities begin with free lentil chili for everyone on Friday. There is also live music, a street dance, food, arts and crafts and family games. Downtown streets are closed for the event, sponsored by the Pullman Chamber of Commerce, city of Pullman and Washington State University.
Saturday dawns with a fun run, bike ride, lentil pancake breakfast and parades. In Reaney Park, there’s a food court, microbrew tasting tent, kids’ play area and other activities. For a complete listing, go to www.lentilfest.com.
Lentil lovers line up to help judge the National Lentil Festival Cook-off on Saturday. The top six recipes from the preliminary cook-off held in July will be prepared and served at Reaney Park so that festivalgoers can vote for their favorite dish. There were 93 recipes entered in this year’s contest.
The top six recipes include: B-L-T Dip, Janice Elder of Charlotte, N.C.; Herbed Lentils and Rice, Betty Fulmer of Greenacres; Savannah’s Sweet Potato Lentil Fritters, Jane Harrison Ashworth of The Woodlands, Texas; Not Your Mother’s Jelly Roll, Wilma Page of Richland; Rhubarb Lentil Crisp, Julie Schneider of Pullman; and Maple Chipotle Barbecue Lentil Pizza, Viviane Levine of Summerfield, Fla.
The award for the most creative dish was a tie between the Rhubarb Lentil Crisp and Maple Chipotle Barbecue Lentil Pizza.
The “I Hate Lentils” category was created last year to inspire picky eaters to try things that didn’t appear to have lentils in them. The winner this year was Connie McKeen of Milton, Wash., who created a fudgy frosting called Animal Cracker Dip. She received a $100 prize and will be featured in the front of the National Lentil Festival Cookbook in a special section. The recipe won’t be served at the park.
The cook-off is sponsored by USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, which awards $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place, $250 for third place and $50 each for fourth through sixth place.
The recipes will be available at the National Lentil Festival on Friday and Saturday, through the Lentil Festival office and online for $4. For more information, call (800) 365-6948 or visit www.lentilfest.com.