June – Roasted Carrots and Beets with Curried Lentils

June – Roasted Carrots and Beets with Curried Lentils

The title for this could be even longer, Roasted Carrots & Beets with Curried Lentils, Feta and Yogurt Salad. There is a little something in there for everyone. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly from one I found in a book I mentioned a few posts ago. The same book gave the inspiration for cauliflower hummus. Take a look at Dishing Up the Dirt by Andrea Bemis, it is a keeper.

Dishing Up the Dirt

Serve this dish as a salad at room temperature, or warm. It makes a wonderful stand alone vegetarian entree, or a side dish for roast chicken or fish. It would be perfect as part of a large buffet. I found that leftovers are even more flavorful the next day.

The original recipe did not call for curry, but I love the warming influence it has on lentils. I also left out the dill and substituted fresh parsley. Adapt this recipe to your own taste.

Roasted Beet & Carrot Lentil Salad with Feta and Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients for Roasted Carrot & Beet Curried Lentil Salad (serves 4)

Lentils

  • 1 1/2 cups of French green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  • Sea or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Roasted Beets and Carrots

  • 1 bunch of small beets, any color or a combination, scrubbed, trimmed and cut into eighths
  • 1 large bunch of carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and halved lengthwise if small, or cut into 1/2 inch lengths
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, more if needed
  • Sea or kosher salt

Sauce and garnish

  • 1 cup of full fat yogurt
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds, briefly toasted
  • Feta cheese, crumbled for serving
  • 1/4 cup of parsley, coarsely chopped

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (218 C)
  2. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan, cover with 3 inches of cool water, add the onion and by leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, turn the heat to low and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still holding their shape. Add 1 teaspoon of salt towards the end of cooking. Add more water if needed.
  3. Drain the lentils, discard the onion and bay leaf. While still warm, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and the curry powder. Taste for salt and add freshly ground pepper, squeeze on the lemon.
  4. Meanwhile toss the beets and carrots with the olive oil and spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Roast until browned and tender, 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt and olive oil.
  6. When ready to serve, spread the lentils on a platter, top with the beets and carrots, drizzle with the yogurt sauce. Top with the chopped parsley, feta and almonds. Serve remaining yogurt sauce on the side.

    Roasted Carrots and Beets with Curried Lentils

    Curried Lentils with Roasted Carrots and Beets

    Note: the original title included May, which is when I served this dish to my book club. I am a bit late in the posting.

    Note 2: I am taking this to Fiesta Friday #176 to share with the rest of the party goers, it will be a great addition to the buffet. Click here to see the dishes brought by other members and to add your own link. Fiesta Friday #176 hosted by Angie and co-hosted by by Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

January in the Kitchen – Lentils with slow cooked Tuscan kale

January in the Kitchen – Lentils with slow cooked Tuscan kale

Lentils with Slow Cooked Tuscan Kale

kale with lentils

Tuscan kale with lentils

Kale is one of the vegetables thriving this winter in my garden. I’m starting to harvest Tuscan kale, sometimes called nero di Toscana, and will continue until late spring. By taking only the bottom leaves I should be able to extend the season until warmer weather starts and I need the space for summer vegetables.

Tuscan kale, is extraordinarily nutritious: a cup provides more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamins K and A, and 88 percent of the value for vitamin C. Like other members of the brassica family such as cabbage, collards and Brussels sprouts, kale is a rich source of organosulfur compounds that have been linked to cancer prevention.

This combination of lentils and kale is delicious, it works well as a side dish or vegetarian main dish. Even better, it is good hot or at room temperature. The slow cooked kale melts into the lentils giving them an extra boost of flavor.

I used some wonderful leftover lentils (they were in the freezer from the post Lentils with Roast Vegetable Stacks). You will find the recipe for those lentils below. Make a double batch and freeze them. However, if you don’t have any left over from a dinner or in the freezer, you can make this dish from scratch. See the directions at the end. It doesn’t take any longer.

Slow Cooked Kale

  • 1 bunch of Tuscan Kale
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced fine
  • 3 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 dried red chili
  1. Wash the kale and remove the tough center stem, chop the kale into small pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the shallots, garlic, chili, and kale. Cook until the vegetables are beginning to soften (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir until the kale reduces and sinks into the liquid.
  5. Continue to cook for 30 minutes, then add the lentils.
  6. Cook for another 30 minutes (adding additional water if it seems too dry) on low heat until the kale melts into the lentils.
  7. Serve, garnished with sour cream, cilantro or parsley, and salt as needed.

Lentils

  • 1 1/2 cups Umbrian lentils or lentils du Puy
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more
  • 2 large shallots, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 small dried chili
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup of dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (optional)
  1. Put the lentils in a saucepan with 3 cups of water, 1 teaspoon salt, the bay leaf, and dried pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a lively simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but hold some texture, about 25 minutes.
  2. While they are cooking, heat the 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots and carrot, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are browned, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently.
  3. Add the garlic and tomato paste, cook for 1 minute then add the wine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is syrupy and the vegetables tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the mustard and add the cooked lentils with their broth. If made ahead, stop at this point.
  5. When you are ready to reheat, bring the contents of your pot to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced. Stir in the scallions, and optional butter, taste for salt, add freshly ground pepper.

(Lentil Recipe adapted from Debra Madison’s The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and 101 Cookbooks.)

kale with lentils

Tuscan kale with lentils

This recipe lentils with kale is adapted from the book Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food by Jody Williams.

Lentils with Kale when you have not leftover lentils

  • 1 bunch of Tuscan Kale
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil plus more for serving
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced fine
  • 3 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 dried red chili
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of dark lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground or grated nutmeg
  • Sour cream, scallions, parsley or cilantro for garnish and serving
  1. Wash the kale and remove the tough center stem, chop the kale into small pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the shallots, garlic, chili, and kale. Cook until the vegetables are beginning to soften (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add 4 cups of water, the lentils, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer slowly until the kale and lentils are cooked through. You want the kale to melt into the lentils. This will take an hour. Add extra water if it seems to dry. The end should be soft and moist but not swimming in liquid.
  5. Serve, garnished with nutmeg, scallions, sour cream, cilantro or parsley, and salt as needed.
Lentils and Kale

Tuscan Kale with Lentils

December in the kitchen – Red lentil and cauliflower couscous

December in the kitchen – Red lentil and cauliflower couscous

Lately I have been reading a lot about substituting cauliflower for rice and couscous in recipes. The substitution is popular in paleo circles as well as with folks trying to cut down on carbohydrates (useful after the holidays). It seems to me that any way you can add more vegetables to your diet is a good thing.

This recipe combines the cauliflower “couscous” with lentils and preserved mandarin oranges. It can be served hot, room temperature, or cold as a salad with some tasty greens on the side. This could even be the main dish for a vegetarian meal, it’s gluten free and vegan.

Red Lentils and Cauliflower Couscous

Red Lentils and Cauliflower Couscous

Cauliflower Couscous with Red Lentils and Easy Preserved Mandarins    (serves 4)

  • 2 mandarin oranges, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 small cauliflower, “riced” in a food processor
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup almonds, sliced scallions, and chopped cilantro for garnish

Preserved Mandarin Oranges:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the sugar and 1½ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper; stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.
  2. Add the slices of mandarin orange and cook over medium heat until softened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the orange slices to a plate and boil the remaining liquid until reduced to 1/3 cup; it will take about 3 minutes. Let cool, then whisk in ¼ cup of olive oil. Set aside.

Cauliflower Couscous

  1. Break the cauliflower into medium sized pieces and add to the food processor, pulse the machine until the cauliflower resembles couscous. You may need to do this in batches. Don’t over process.
cauliflower rice

Cauliflower couscous or rice

Red Lentils

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, add the lentils and cook over medium heat until tender but not mushy, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain.
  2. Heat a frying pan on medium heat; add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot and beginning to shimmer, add the onion and sauté until beginning to soften, about 10 minutes.
  1. Add the cauliflower to the pan, increase the heat to medium high and sauté, stirring constantly, until the cauliflower is beginning to soften and brown. It should retain some texture and still be crisp.
  2. Add the lentils to the pan and reheat the whole.
  3. Add the reserved liquid from the mandarin oranges and the lemon juice. Taste for salt and turn out to a serving dish.
  4. Serve garnished with almonds, the slices of mandarin orange, scallions, and chopped cilantro.

I served this with the marmalade chicken. It was a great combination with the pilaf coming together while the chicken was in the oven.

Cauliflower couscous

Cauliflower couscous

How have you used cauliflower to replace rice or pasta or couscous? I’d love to hear other ideas.

November in the kitchen – Lentils with Roast Vegetable Stacks

November in the kitchen – Lentils with Roast Vegetable Stacks

It’s time to add a bit of healthy eating after gorging on Halloween goodies! These fall vegetable stacks fill the bill in a delicious and beautiful way. The farmer’s market last Saturday was overflowing with gorgeous produce. I was thinking of making these vegetable stacks for some vegetarian friends coming to dinner Saturday night. The celeriac I wanted was not to be found (seems it’s not in season) but I found kohlrabi and some giant thick carrots. They are a French variety and reported to be very sweet, even though they were huge. If you are not familiar with kohlrabi, it is a member of the cabbage family and means “cabbage-turnip”. Roasted they taste a bit like a cross between an artichoke and a potato, very mild.

IMG_0177

Layers of roast vegetables (I used cauliflower, beets, carrots, kohlrabi, and sweet potatoes) are stacked on top of a bed of lentils cooked with red wine. A horseradish vinaigrette is added to finish with some chopped parsley. You could add a bit of goat cheese or feta to top things off. In my book there isn’t much that can’t be improved with goat cheese! This main dish is vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan without the cheese.

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All of the vegetables can be roasted  ahead and reheated in a 300 degree F oven before serving.

Make a double batch of the lentils and freeze them for future pilafs or soups.

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Start the lentils first.

Lentils with Wine-Glazed Vegetables (serves 4 as a main dish)

Lentils

  • 1 1/2 cups Umbrian lentils or lentils du Puy
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more
  • 2 large shallots, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 small dried chili
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup of dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (optional)

Put the lentils in a saucepan with 3 cups of water, 1 teaspoon salt, the bay leaf, and dried pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a lively simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but hold some texture, about 25 minutes.

While they are cooking, heat the 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots and carrot, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are browned, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the garlic and tomato paste, cook for 1 minute then add the wine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is syrupy and the vegetables tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mustard and add the cooked lentils with their broth. If made ahead, stop at this point.

When you are ready to reheat, bring the contents of your pot to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced. Stir in the scallions, and optional butter, taste for salt, add freshly ground pepper.

(Recipe adapted from Debra Madison’s The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and 101 Cookbooks.)

Roast Vegetables

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F

  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil

Chop the rosemary and combine with the lemon rind and olive oil. You will brush this over your vegetables

  • 2 small fat sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 very fat carrots, peeled, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 kohlrabi, peelied, sliced 1/4-1/2 inch thick
  • 2 beets, peeled, sliced 1/4-1/2 inch thick
  • 1 head of cauliflower, sliced through the core into 1 inch slices

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a large baking pan, lay out the slices of beet, brush with the rosemary oil and salt on both sides. Cover tightly with a piece of aluminum foil and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and roast an additional 10-15 minutes.

IMG_0179

Roast beets

Lay the slices of kohlrabi on another sheet of parchment paper on a second baking sheet, add the carrots to the other side. Brush with rosemary oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 35-40 minutes. Check the kohlrabi at 30 minutes, it might be done. It should be soft and starting to brown in spots.

Roast carrots and kohlrabi

Roast carrots and kohlrabi

Roast the slices of sweet potato in the same way, brushing with oil on each side and roasting for 35-40 minutes until they are soft and brown.

Roast sweet potatoes

Roast sweet potatoes

Brush the cauliflower slices with the oil on each side and salt well. Roast for about 20-25 minutes until cooked.

Roast cauliflower

Roast cauliflower

If made a few hours ahead, set aside at room temperature until it is time to reheat them. To reheat, place the baking trays in a 300 degree F oven for about 15 minutes.

Horseradish Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine well. Check the seasoning and set aside.

When you are ready for dinner, prepare each plate as below. I usually warm the plates in my microwave for 1 -2 minutes first. There is nothing worse than a cold plate with warm food!

Put a large scoop of lentils on each plate, cover with a slice of cauliflower, then the other slices, alternating colors. Top with a drizzle of vinaigrette and some roughly chopped parsley.

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Lentils with roast vegetable stacks and horseradish vinaigrette

Just what the Dr. ordered to cure a Halloween sugar overdose!

Submitted to Mouthwatering Mondays, week 72.

Take a look to see what other wonderful dishes are on the menu.