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Lentil Festival seeks recipes for cook-off

Lentils can be hidden or they can star in recipes at the National Lentil Festival each year.

Here’s a recipe from last year’s competition that you might even be able to get past the lentil haters in your family. Caramel Lentil Brownies Sprinkled with Sea Salt took second place. It was submitted by Joni Hilton, of Rocklin, Calif.

Entries for this year’s competition must be turned in or postmarked by July 2. The top 50 recipes will be selected for a preliminary cook-off on July 26. The top six recipes selected by judges at the preliminary event will advance to the public tasting during the National Lentil Festival. 

The National Lentil Festival will be Aug. 17 and 18 in downtown Pullman. For more information, call the National Lentil Festival at (509) 334-3565 or (800) 365-6948. All of the details are online, too, at Click on “Join Us” and then “Contest Applications” for official rules and an entry form.

Caramel Lentil Brownies Sprinkled with Sea Salt

2 cups flour

2 1/3 cups sugar, divided

3/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup cooked lentil puree

2 teaspoons vanilla, divided

1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 egg

Sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir flour, 2 cups of the sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Beat in water, oil, lentil puree and half of the vanilla. Pour into a greased 9-by-13 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, beat remaining sugar with caramel topping, cream cheese, egg and remaining teaspoon of vanilla. Swirl through brownie batter with a knife.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife tests clean when inserted into the center. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cool then cut into squares and serve.

Yield: 12-16 brownies