Lentils Tartare – a Hezbollah Tofu contribution

This is a veganized recipe from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook.  If you have seen Hezbollah Tofu yet, go check it out.  This was a fun challenge.

Hey look!  My camera actually focused on something properly!  The food photography gods must have been smiling upon me.  I ate my tartare with millet toast triangles and a salad of wilted dandelion greens, alfalfa sprouts, grape tomatoes and mustard dressing.

lentils tartare

Lentils Tartare

1/2 lb (about 1 1/4 cups) lentils (see note)
2 1/2 cups water
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp ketchup
1 tsp miso
1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp tabasco sauce
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
1 ounce Cognac (see note)
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 ounces capers, rinsed
2 ounces cornichons (gherkins), finely chopped
4 sprigs of flat parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp toasted nori flakes, large pieces torn smaller
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1. Place lentils and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender and water is absorbed. Let stand for at least 10 minutes, then place in refrigerator to cool. Let cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, place the mustard, ketchup, miso, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce and black pepper in a large bowl and whisk until well mixed. Slowly whisk in the oil, then add the Cognac and mix again. Fold in the onion, capers, cornichons, parsley, nori flakes and salt.
3. Add the lentils to the mustard mixture and mix well using a spoon or your hands, breaking up any clumps. Spoon the mixture onto chilled plates and form into disks using a ring mold. Serve with toasted bread points.

Serves 6.

– You can use any type of lentil, depending on your desired results. I used red in an attempt at beef-like color, and they end up being pretty well mashed. Black, green or even brown lentils will hold their shape better and have a firmer bite. If using those, you may need to add more water and increase cooking time.
– Hennessey, Remy Martin, and Martell brand Cognacs are suitable for vegans, probably along with other brands.
– The original recipe calls for an entire onion, so if you like raw oniony goodness, go for it. I think the half onion is a nice ratio.
– This would probably work nicely as a firm dip with thick crackers or veggie crudite. And unlike it’s original steak counterpoint, it will hold well in the fridge for leftovers.


  1. Romina said

    Oh boy that looks so good!! And I’ve never even had tartare.

  2. Jennifer said

    Hahaha! Thanks for the link, I’m loving that blog!

    What a gorgeous picture and the tartare looks good. I’m with Romina, I’ve never had it, but it looks and sounds good.

  3. Vaishali said

    What a lovely and interesting mix of ingredients. The tartare looks delicious!

  4. veghead said

    I don’t even know what tartare is but that looks seriously awesome. Nice blog, btw! 🙂

  5. I have to admit I’ve had the real tartar… Good thing I’m a vegan now! But this recipe sounds very interesting, I’ll have to try.

  6. River said

    Well, I have to confess guys that I HAVE had the ‘real’ tartare back in ye badde olde dayes, and I wouldn’t go back to it now for love nor money (as neither would anyone here!). THIS recipe is awesome and I must try it. Admittedly I eat a lot of raw these days, but hey it’s not a religion and I do eat what I like. This I think I like 🙂 And I could compromise and have it on crudite, couldn’t I? Oh yesssss! Thank you, Erin. Hugs!!!

  7. Those look gorgeous… I’m going to go check out the website now.

  8. veganhomemade said

    That’s crazy that a couple of us have actually had the “regular” tartare. Even way back in my beef eating days, I would have NEVER eaten it raw. That’s okay though, you guys didn’t know any better then 😉

    River, it would absolutely work as a dip with crudite. In fact, that’s what I’m hoping to pack in my lunchbox for Friday. Or maybe crudite boats like endive or cucumber cups? That would be pretty cute.

    Veghead – I didn’t really know what it was either until last week. I knew it was something fancy, although when you get down to it it’s really not that fancy.

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