lentil walnut tacos

1 cup dry French green lentils
1 whole cinnamon stick
2 whole bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 clove garlic
peeled and bruised
water or broth
1 pinch salt
1 cup walnut halves
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
or to taste
1 3/4 cups cooked lentils
or a scant 2 cups loosely packed
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp water
or tortilla chips
The original recipe includes funny stories about how this filling has been mistaken for meat. In this version of the recipe, I've modified the preparation to optimize the texture of the filling. While a great alternative for vegans on taco night, this recipe is also just delicious on its own.
Cook the lentils. Rinse them in a sieve and cook them in a saucepan with the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, oregano, and garlic. Cover with water or broth by 2 inches and add a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered until the lentils are tender, 20-25 minutes. Fish out the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, and garlic, then drain.
Toast the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet in an oven preheated to 300°F. Toast for 10-13 minutes until golden and fragrant. Cool for a few minutes, then pulse in the food processor 3-4 times to break down the walnuts.
Add the spices and salt, then pulse again, 3-4 times, to incorporate.
Add the cooked lentils and pulse 3-4 times. Closely observe the mixture after each pulse. The texture should look like crumbly cooked ground meat. If you process it too much, you'll end up with paste.
Transfer to mixing bowl. Pour the oil in a circle along where the edges of the lentil mix meet the bowl. Gently fold in with a spatula.
Add the water and fold with the spatula.
Serve the lentil walnut taco mix with tortillas or tortilla chips.
source: adapted from First Descents