Sedona Chef Lisa Dahl returned to the prestigious James Beard House in January for her second cooking appearance at the famed culinary institution in New York City, an honor reserved for the world’s top chefs. Here, she shares one of the recipes she prepared for the dinner — lentil walnut croquettes
Recognized for pioneering the fine dining scene in the small Northern Arizona resort town of Sedona, Chef Dahl first appeared at the Beard House in 2014 where she cooked to a sold-out crowd. Her recent dinner featured a Latin-Italian fusion menu to celebrate her newest Sedona restaurant Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill, while paying homage to her classic Italian fine-dining restaurants, Dahl & Di Luca and Cucina Rustica.
“Cooking at the James Beard House was a true highlight in my career, and an incredible opportunity to promote Sedona and all of Arizona,” Dahl says.
Lentil Walnut Croquettes
Served by Chef Lisa Dahl at the James Beard House, NYC, Jan. 18, 2017
- 1 pound or 2 cups organic lentils, washed
- 6 to 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup organic quinoa washed
- 1 ½ cup red bell pepper, ¼” dice
- 1 ½ cup onion, ¼” dice
- 1 Tablespoon serrano chile, minced
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 1 ½ cup marinara (homemade or good quality store-bought)
- 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
- 1 to 1 ½ cups bread crumbs
- ¼ cup light sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 2-3 bay leaves
- ½ to 1 tsp. chili flakes
Wash lentils. Bring to a boil in lightly salted vegetable broth with bay leaves. Reduce to simmer.
Cover and cook until tender. Rinse dry quinoa until water turns clear. Cook in delicately salted
water until slightly over-cooked. Drain and cool at room temperature. Spread on a baking sheet
to cool. Do not chill.
Meanwhile, make sofrito. To begin sofrito, process in food processor the red pepper and onion
until finely minced. Put oil in medium sauté pan on medium flame. When oil gets hot, add
peppers to reduce liquid. Next, add minced onions. Sauté until golden. Add serrano chile. Add
minced garlic. Then, cook on low heat until sofrito begins to reduce. Add chili flakes and
oregano. Continue to cook until aroma becomes fragrant and a compound-like appearance has
formed. Add soy sauce and marinara. Reduce and turn off flame. Allow sofrito mixture to rest.
Put cooked lentils in a large bowl. Fold in cooked quinoa, sofrito. Fold delicately, careful not to
overwork. Sprinkle in parsley, finely chopped walnuts and finish with bread crumbs (enough to
hold mixture firm but not turn to clay). Refrigerate until chilled, up to two days. Prepare for
burgers or croquettes by shaping into ½-inch patties. Lightly oil sauté pan or flat grill. Cook on
each side until golden crust forms evenly on both sides.