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Magical Mayan Salad lentil festival winner

Wed., Sept. 7, 2011

Jane Bracher, of Robertsdale, Ala., took home the top prize in the annual cook-off at the 2011 National Lentil Festival.

Tasters at the festival on Aug. 20 chose Bracher’s Magical Mayan Salad from the top six recipes in this year’s competition. Judges narrowed it down to the best six out of 118 recipes submitted from 32 different states and Switzerland.

The top six recipes were prepared and taken to Reaney Park during the festival for public tasting and final voting. The first 400 people in the park were giving one sample of each dish and asked to pick their favorite.

Bracher took home the $1,000 top prize from the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council for her win. Joni Hilton, of Rocklin, Calif., won the $500 second place prize for Caramel Lentil Brownies Sprinkled with Sea Salt. The third place award of $250 went to Cindie Hards, of Jupiter, Fla., for her Mango Lentil Chili.

The preliminary winners also included Mediterranean Summer Lentil Salad by Elizabeth Koseyan, of North Hills, Calif.; Easy Campfire “Can Do” Lentil Chili by Mary Louise Lever, of Rome, Ga.; and Bangali Dal submitted by Nipa Reza and Saeed Alam of Dielsdorf, from Switzerland.

Each of these submissions received $50 for reaching the finals.

A booklet that includes all of the finalists’ recipes from the 2011 National Lentil Festival Legendary Lentil Cook-off is available at the Pullman Chamber of Commerce for $5. There is an additional charge of $1.50 for mailing, or visit to order.

Reach the Pullman chamber at (509) 334-3565.

Here is Bracher’s winning recipe:

Magical Mayan Salad

Jane Bracher, Robertsdale, Ala.

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup canned green chilies

3 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon garlic, minced



1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

1 cup dried brown lentils

1 small jicama, cut into thin strips

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 avocado, cut into small cubes

Prepare dressing by combining lime juice, chilies, sugar and garlic in a medium mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well using a wire whisk. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly. When dressing has emulsified, stir in cilantro and mint. Refrigerate and prepare salad.

Cook lentils according to package direction until tender yet firm. Drain well and allow to cool. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Toss gently and transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Stir before serving.

Yield: Varies


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