Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lentil Love

As much as I love lentils, they are not very photogenic, poor things.  Luckily they taste better than they picture...this dish, "Garden Lentil Pilaf" by Ellie Krieger, is right up my alley.  I made it for the first time last night and ate all four servings myself.  Yeah...I definitely went crazy for it.

For me, it was a bit pricey simply because of the fresh herbs, which I don't grow myself so the store ousts my wallet for them ($3 a bundle).  *faints*  But, the fresh herbs really make this recipe, so if you do decide to make it, please do not leave them out.  Hopefully you have a more budget-friendly source for your greens than I.

Along with salt & pepper, the recipe calls for fresh-squeezed lemon juice.  Mmmmm...I love anything sour.  Gimme!  Gimme! :)  And now...for the recipe:

1 cup green lentils
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons diced shallots
3 cups baby spinach leaves (I used bok choy because I had it on hand and crave it)
1 cup, halved grape tomatoes (I used yellow ones for contrast)
1/4 cup fresh basil - chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint - chopped
1/4 fresh parsley - chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the lentils in a pot with the water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, but still retain their shape, 30 - 35 minutes.  (I could have reduced the cooking time to 25 minutes...mine were a little over cooked).  Drain any excess water from the lentils and set them aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skilled over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, cooked lentils, basil, mint, and parsley to the pan and stir to combine.  Cook until warmed through, about 1 minute.  Stir in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and serve.


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