North African black lentil pitas with tangy carrot-cranberry salad

Vegetarian, Soy Free, Low Calorie

2 Servings, 540 Calories/Serving

30 – 40 Minutes

In this robust vegetarian main dish, black lentils are infused with the fragrant North African spice blend harissa, then spread on warmed pitas and topped with a cooling carrot salad. You might be tempted to roll this up like a falafel wrap (and you can), but we like to eat it with a knife and fork. For more of a slaw instead of a salad, grate the carrots rather than slice them.


  • 1 red onion
  • Peeled fresh garlic
  • 1/3 cup black lentils
  • 1 teaspoon harissa powder
  • 1 lemon
  • Quick-pickle brine (apple cider vinegar - honey)
  • 2 ounces baby carrots
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • Fresh mint
  • 2 whole wheat pita breads
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt



Cook the lentils

  • Peel the red onion. Finely chop half for the lentils; thinly slice half and set aside to be pickled.
  • Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
  • In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse the lentils.
In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the chopped onion and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the lentils and harissa powder, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1½ cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.
While the lentils simmer, prepare the pickled onion.


Pickle the sliced red onion

  • Zest and juice the lemon, keeping the zest and juice separate. Set aside the zest for the carrot salad.
In a small bowl, combine the sliced onion, lemon juice, and quick-pickle brine. Season lightly with salt and stir well. Let stand, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the rest of the meal.


Make the carrot salad

  • Scrub or peel the carrots and trim off the tops. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise, then thinly slice on the diagonal.
In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, lemon zest, cranberries, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon pickling liquid from the onion. Stir well to coat and season to taste with salt.


Prep the mint; warm the pita breads

  • Strip the mint leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
On the stovetop directly over a flame, or in a dry medium frying or grill pan over medium heat, warm the pita breads until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds per side. Alternatively, toast them in a toaster.



Transfer the pita breads to individual plates. Spoon the yogurt onto the pitas. Top with the lentils, carrot salad, and some of the pickled red onions. Garnish with the mint and serve the remaining pickled onions on the side.

Nutrition per serving: Calories: 540, Protein: 22 g, Total Fat: 17 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 5 mg, Carbohydrates: 78 g, Fiber: 12 g, Added Sugar (Honey): 8 g, Sodium: 410 mg
Contains: milk, wheat

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