Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Now that I have a lot of free time on my hands, I have been cooking up a storm-you will soon see. Yesterday, I made a batch of lentil stew. This was something my mom always gave me as a kid, it is my comfort food. My version uses beluga lentils, the "caviar of lentils" they are called, presumably because they look like caviar, but you can use any lentil here. One thing to note, is that if you use the red or golden lentils, they will not retain their shape, but rather soften and become mushy. I guess "mushy" isn't the best word, but I think you get the idea of what their end result is. My husband, the self proclaimed "salad dodger" and "bean banisher" likes it.
Of course, I added a bunch of vegetables to the stew to boost up the nutrients. You can play around with the basic recipe and add whatever you have on hand. I added some red pepper flakes and chipotle chile puree to give it a kick.
2 carrots, finely diced (keep in mind the size of the lentils as you chop-you don't want teeny lentils and giant carrot hunks)
1 large celery rib, diced (see above)
1 medium onion, diced (I didn't have an onion so I used a couple of shallots)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup beluga lentils
4 cups water or stock
1 bunch dandelion greens, chopped
1 12 ounce can of tomatoes (I like the diced fire roasted for this dish)
a couple of swigs of extra virgin olive oil (will not say or write EVOO)
Salt & Pepper
Place a large sauce pan over medium heat. After a minute, add the oil, then add the mirepoix (carrots, celery, onions) and sweat until soft but do not color the veg. If they start to color, turn down the heat. After about 5 minutes or so (depending on the size of your cut veg), add the chopped garlic, making sure it doesn't burn. Add the lentils and stir to coat with the oil and then add in your stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook until lentils are soft, then add tomatoes and dandelion greens. Season with salt and pepper.