Thursday, March 14, 2019

Roasted Sweet Potato, Fennel and Lentil #recipe from Essie Lang, #book giveaway

In the perfect world, I would have checked my cupboards first, before starting this dish, to make sure I had green lentils on hand. Instead, I ended up using red ones. Not this this doesn't taste good, it's just that the green would have added more color. We eat first with our eyes, right?

Having said that, I ended up changing most of the other ingredients, too. So, this recipe that I got in a digest form from Bon Appetit, was an inspiration.

I love roasting veggies and I like playing with different combinations. So, I've added fennel to the mix. And instead of various herbs and spices, I chose to use a Milanese Gremolato olive oil I recently bought. Love the flavor!

And, I didn't have a harissa paste on hand so  I used powder, in the same amount.

This makes a tasty side dish for any meat or fish. Or, enjoy on its own with a green salad and dinner roll. It also works hot or cold.

What you'll need:

1 c. red lentils, rinsed
1 sweet potato, rinsed and sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 fennel, sliced
3 1/2 tbsp. virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. harissa powder or paste
1 1/2 tbsp. white wine vinegar (or red)
1/2 tbsp. honey
pinches of salt and black pepper
fennel fronds for garnish

What to do:

1.  Preheat oven to 425F.  Rinse lentils then add them to water and cook according to package instructions. Drain and transfer to a bowl.

2.  Whisk half of the olive oil, half of the harissa powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

3.  Slice vegetables and halve the tomatoes. Add the olive oil mixture and then place the veggies on a baking sheet, on parchment paper.  Roast for 25 minutes, tossing once.

4.  Whisk vinegar, honey and remaining harissa in a bowl. While stirring, stir in the olive oil until emulsified. Add pinch of salt.  Mix half of this into the lentils and reserve the rest to drizzle over the plated meal.

5.  Serve with lentils on bottom and topped with veggies. Drizzle and then add fennel fronds.

To celebrate the release of my new book, new series, and new name -- I'll give away a copy of TROUBLE ON THE BOOKS to someone who's name I'll draw on Friday after 6 PM EDT. 

Just tell me about your favorite bookstore! And be sure to leave your email contact.

It's now available --  the first of the Castle Bookshop Mysteries 
written by Essie Lang (that's me!)

  Dine out with the DINNER CLUB MYSTERIES

Here's a taste of the reviews for Marinating in Murder, #3:     

Wiken’s third entry to the Dinner Club series is a clever twist on the classic whodunit… The book will have you guessing until the very end…. All in all, an intriguing read by Wiken.” – RT Reviews

"Foodies will love this book and this series. Great recipes are included as well....A fun romp of intrigue filled with foodie fun." -- Open Book Society

ROUX THE DAY,  the second  Dinner Club Mystery is available in paper and as an e-book. 
Recipes included!

TOASTING UP TROUBLE, the first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!

Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

Visit Erika at 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase.


  1. Growing up we had a used bookstore in the next town. Books were on and under tables by category and then they had more shelves on the walls. My Dad would take my brother and I there to pick out books every couple of weeks. I loved digging through the tables to see what there was.
    sgiden at verizon (.)net

  2. Unfortunately, we don't have any bookstores located in castles or handsome Coast Guard investigators (that I know of). So my favorite is The Bookworm in Omaha. They keep defying the odds and staying open. They allow dogs and support the Humane Society. It's cozy and the employees are friendly. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. I love browsing at this indie bookstore where I live. The children's section, fiction and non-fiction is replete with great choices. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. My favorite bookstore is Saturn Books in Gaylord, MI; it's kind of a shlep and I usually plan on meeting a friend there and then having lunch (she lives about the same distance away, in a different direction). So going there is always pleasant, and they ALWAYS have something to recommend. pjcoldren[at]tm[dot]net

  5. I love sweet potatoes and I love fennel, this will be a fun dish to try. Thanks for sharing the recipe. As for my favorite bookstore, it is Powell's City of Books in Portland, OR. I loved wending my way through the labyrinth of bookshelves and taking periodic breaks in their cafe.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  6. Murder by the Book is a cool store,just not close enough to be handy!

  7. The only bookstores in my area are Barnes & Nobel and Half Price Books. I wish we had some local Indie bookstores close by, I enjoy browsing bookstores. Looking forward to reading "Murder by the Book".

  8. This recipe is so special and tasty. A bookstore which I enjoy visiting is in a small town not far from where I live. What a wonderful shop which is an escape for me. Tome on the Range is unique and grat. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. My favorite bookstore is Vroman's in Pasadena, CA. Unfortunately I no longer live close enough that I can visit on a regular basis.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  10. Books of Wonder in Manhattan, NY Best children's book store on the planet IMHO
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  11. Wow, that's an interesting recipe I'll have to try soon! My favorite bookstore closed several years ago. It was in a nondescript older strip mall in Dallas, with a fireplace and cozy chairs and couches downstairs and a very helpful former librarian as the owner. So warm and inviting, and I used to spend hours there, reading and chatting. Those were the days!

    lola777_22 at hotmail dot com

    P.S. I love the name Essie. It's also the name of the actress who played in the Miss Fisher Mystery series on TV!

  12. The bookstore I go to is Barnes and Noble. They don't have as many books in the store as they used to. Sometimes I have to go home and order books online. My regular authors I buy anyway but they may lose out on me browsing new authors.

  13. Unfortunately, my favorite bookstore changed ownership and the selection under the new owners is basically NYT best sellers and remainders.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  14. My favorite bookstore is the used bookstore at my local library. I can buy almost new recent books for just a few dollars each instead of full price. Since I am on a fixed income, that works out much better for me. And, when I finish with them, I donate them back to the store.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com