lentil and zucchini cakes with rice pilav at Mint

Yesterday evening at Mint Restaurant in Waitsfield (Vermont) I had something especially delicious. The photo below unfortunately doesn’t do the colors justice at all as it was an overcast sky: the harissa sauce is much more vivid in reality, a deep, just slightly orangey red; the green sauce (which looked similar to traditional Indian mint chutney but was in fact made of spinach, subtly sweetened with agave) came out a little garish in the automatic flash; and the cakes (lentil, zucchini, onion, and spices) and rice pilav lack a lot of the warm colors of the real thing. But I thought I’d add my photo in any case to give a hint of what the dish looked like. It was wonderful: the cakes and rice pilav each moist and richly flavorful in complementary ways, the harissa adding a lovely, bright heat, the spinach sauce balancing it with its fresh coolness and dab of sweetness.

A starter of butternut squash soup with leeks, coconut cream thyme, pumpkin seeds, and (for flavor, not so much for sweetness) pears, completed the meal, along with a summery salad with lots of sweet basil.

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I reviewed Mint earlier here. It continues to be my favorite place to go to get nourished and inspired at the same time. All the more now that the weather is warm and I can sit outdoors (see below – though again not our more typical Vermont clear summer sky!):

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And while I’m at it, here’s another meal I had there earlier in the summer, a mezze plate with the best falafel I’ve ever had – light, soft, and deliciously herby in the middle. (And everything else was as good as it looks too…)

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