Okay, this is a new dish for me, I must confess. It’s been on my list of foods to add to my “regulars” for a while, as I’m usually a fan of any type of beans (or bean-like food). I love black beans, served with Mexican food or as the base for my tacos. I love red beans and rice, the last food I ate before I went into labor with my first son. I love a good pot of navy beans, all by themselves, nothing fancy. Mmmmmm….And good ol’ pinto beans, served with sweet cornbread. Oh, and you probably know I have a mild infatuation with hummus. So, it’s not surprising to me that I would love a dish called spiced lentils, spicy lentils or lentils and rice or lentils and pita bread…..whatever.
Normally, when I hear of a new dish that I want to try, I look online until I find a recipe that is my style and then I change it up according to my own taste and family preferences. The process for this dish was no different. And I might add, that I will undoubtedly change it up a bit each time I make it, throwing in whatever fresh veggies I am craving at the time. Here’s how it boiled down yesterday.
2 cups cooked lentils (pick your favorite color – you can find them in almost every color – I used greenish tan, not to be confused with green)
1/2 to 3/4 purple onion – chopped
4 or 5 Roma tomatoes – seeds removed and chopped
3-5 fresh cloves garlic, minced
ground red pepper (cayenne)
lemon juice of one lemon
handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
handful of chopped fresh cilantro
1. Boil two cups of lentils for 20 minutes or until tender. Do not overcook. Please note here that the recipe I adapted from called for boiling with bay leaves, an onion and lemon rind, which I did, but am not entirely sure it matters. Drain well and set aside.
2. Drizzle olive oil into separate frying pan and saute purple onion til tender.
3. Add tomatoes, garlic, and some of each of the spices, according to your taste – no more than 1/2 teaspoon for each one or you might regret the kind of heat you’re asking for.
4. Add cooked lentils to the pan and squeeze in the lemon juice.
5. Add cilantro and parsley, stir well, and remove from heat.
Be ready for bold flavor!!!
Serve this with steamed rice or fresh pita bread for a nutritious and delicious meal!