PULLMAN, Wash --- More than 100 recipes from 23 states and two countries were submitted for the Legendary Lentil Cook-off, and from those entries the National Lentil Festival selected the top five to compete August 19 for the grand prize of $2,000.
The National Lentil Festival began in 1989 in Pullman because the Palouse region has a reputation for producing the highest quality lentils in the United States. Almost one fifth of the country’s lentils are grown in that area.
A panel of food experts judged the recipe submissions based on creativity and uniqueness, anticipated flavor, ease of preparation and availability of ingredients.
The top five recipes in no particular order:
Areli Biggers from El Paso, TX: Lentil Loaded Lazy Lasagna
Vivian Levine from Summerfield, FL: Red Lentil Pumpkin Shake
Lori Freer from Ithaca, NY: Coconut Almond Sweet Potato Granola with Crispy Lentils
Susan Bickta from Kutztown, PA: Hearty Lentil, Bacon and Barley Soup
Daljeet Singh from Coral Springs, FL: Lentil-Cornmeal Dumplings in Lentil Broth
The top five will travel to Pullman for the National Lentil Festival to prepare their recipe for a panel of celebrity judges.
This year’s judging panel includes:
Jessie Hunter, USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council Director of Domestic Marketing
Lisa Baser, LaCrosse High School Ag Teacher and FFA Advisor
Jeff Rathbun, Meez Consulting and Hospitality
Jack Thompson, Former WSU Coug and NLF Player
Tom Pham, Meter Group, Inc. Corporate Chef
Sarah Jacobsen, KLEW-TV Anchor, Executive Producer and Reporter
The Legendary Lentil Cook-off takes place Saturday, August 20 at 3:00 p.m. on the Cooking Demo Stage. The first 100 festival attendees can take part in the public tasting to determine the 2017 “People’s Choice.” The cook-off is sponsored by the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council.