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A tart that seems to capture both exotic yet homespun flavorings in the same bite. Fresh mushrooms, spinach and turkey are stirred into Middle East staples such as lentils and basmati rice.

1-1/2 cups dried lentils
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons Middle Eastern Spice Mix, divided, recipe below
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups sliced onions (2 large)
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced
1 pound fresh spinach, roughly chopped (10 cups) 1 cup basmati rice
1-1/2 cups golden raisins
4 cups cooked turkey (chopped or shredded)
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed (one 17.3-ounce box)
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)

Middle Eastern Spice Mix:
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wash and pick over lentils. Put into large pot and cover with 8-10 cups water. Bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 30 minutes. Drain and rinse, discarding water. Return to pot along with the chicken broth, 1 tablespoon Middle Eastern Spice Mix and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in large heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Add onions, 1 tablespoon of the spice mix and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook very slowly until soft, 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To toast pine nuts, put in heavy skillet over medium heat, stir and shake pan until nuts are golden, 2-3 minutes.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add spinach. Cover and cook until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.

When onions are soft, add toasted pine nuts, basmati rice and raisins to pan. Cook 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Add to lentil mixture along with the cooked mushroom/spinach mixture and turkey. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed by rice, add a bit more liquid if it is getting too dry. Taste to correct seasoning, adding more salt or spice mix if desired. (Dish may be made ahead to this point. Reheat before putting into pastry crust.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Unfold 1 pastry sheet on floured board. Roll out into a 15- to 16-inch square big enough to line bottom and sides of a 10-inch-by-2-1/2-inch springform pan with a 1/2-inch overhang. Put in ungreased pan and trim leaving the 1/2-inch overhang; reserve scraps. Fill with warm lentil mixture. (It is important that the pan be full in order to support the top crust.) Roll out second pastry sheet and cut a circle to fit the top of the pan with about 1/2-inch overhang (about 11 inches). Brush bottom crust edges with egg wash. Put top crust on top pressing edges to seal. Fold overhang under and crimp edges. Brush top with egg wash.

Cut scraps into design if desired to decorate top of tart. Arrange on top of tart and brush décor with egg wash. Make a couple of slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake on bottom rack of oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Let sit 10-15 minutes for easier slicing. Remove sides of springform pan, cut into wedges and serve. Makes 8 entrée servings.

NOTE: This tart could be made as a vegetarian entrée if desired, by leaving out the turkey and substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth. It is important, however, to have the pan full to support the crust, so increase the lentils to 1 pound and add a bit more liquid if needed.

Middle Eastern Spice Mix: Combine well and store in jar. Use to season rice, lentils, meats, etc.

Reprinted from An Appetite for Art: Recipes & Art from the North Carolina Museum of Art, with the permission of NCMA and Taste Full Publications.

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