Super Nachos with Refried Beer Lentils, Quick Pickles & Radish Greens (Seriously.)


Serves 6-8

Top these with your favorite nacho accouterments – salsa, guacamole, cheese, sour cream. And feel free to simplify. I got excited and went a little overboard, but I realize sautéing radish greens isn’t for everyone (maybe you’ll be a convert?), especially when it comes to nachos. But they’re nachos. They will taste good no matter what. For the lentils, you can do without all of the spices and use water instead of beer (gasp!). Don’t need to make the quick pickles, but if you do, I suggest your slice up more radishes and have those on the side.

For the lentils:

1 cup dried beluga or puy lentils (I used PNW Co-op Specialty Foods Spanish Pardina Lentils)
24 ounces beer (3 cups; two bottles)
3 tablespoons oil, divided (I use olive oil)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (I use chipotle chili powder)
3 tablespoons lime juice

Sea salt 

Pour the lentils into a medium pot and sift through them, removing any debris. Rinse the lentils with water and drain, then cover the lentils with the beer. Bring the lentils to a boil over medium heat, taking care that the beer doesn’t spill over the sides of the pot, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, until the lentils are tender and starting to lose their shape, and there is only a small amount liquid remaining. Turn off the heat and drain the lentils in a sieve or colander over a large bowl or pot, to catch the liquid. Set the lentils and liquid aside.

Place the pot back on the stove over medium-low heat. Once the surface is dry, add 2 tablespoons of oil, the garlic and the spices. Once the ingredients start to sizzle, stir continuously for a minute with a wooden spoon, then stir in the lentils, the remaining cooking liquid, and the lime juice. (There should be about ¼ cup cooking liquid. Add water if you don’t have enough.) Scrape the bottom of the pot to mix in any of the spices that may have stuck to the bottom. Using a potato masher or the back of the wooden spoon, mash the lentils, adding more water if you like a thinner, looser consistency. Add salt to taste.

For the quick pickled jalapeño peppersonions:

1 cup distilled vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick

1 jalapeño pepper, sliced into thin rounds
½ small red onion, thinly sliced

Place all of the ingredients a medium pot. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let cool in the refrigerator and allow the flavors to bloom.

The rest of the nacho ingredients:

1 bunch radish and their greens
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
1 large bag tortilla chips

Remove the radish greens from the radishes and wash the greens and the radishes well. Slice the radishes into thin half moons and set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium skillet over medium low heat. Add the remaining garlic and the radish greens and cook, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes, until the greens wilt. Remove from heat.

To assemble the dish, layer the ingredients on top of the chips (duh), with the radishes greens, radishes, pickled onions & peppers, and cilantro on top to show off their color.