Sunday, March 24, 2013

spiced red lentil stew with greens and lemon

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spiced red lentil stew with greens and lemon
slightly adapted from Laura Calder's Dinner Chez Moi

brown rice (I like this short-grain brown rice best)
2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced (or peperoncino, crushed, if you can get it)
2 tsp. (10 ml) ground cumin
1 tsp. (5 ml) ground coriander
1 tsp. (5 ml) curry powder
pinch of turmeric
1 c. (200 g.) red lentils
398 ml (14 oz.) best-quality canned tomatoes
 3.5 c. (about 700 ml) chicken stock*
salt and pepper
100  200 g. (4  8 oz.) Swiss chard, spinach or other greens, stems trimmed
lemon wedges for serving

Get your rice going, so it can cook while you prepare the lentils and greens.

Put a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the oil. Stir in the garlic, jalapeño, cumin, coriander and curry. After about a minute, the garlic should be light brown. Pour in the lentils, tomatoes, stock and turmeric. Cover and bring to a simmer, stirring every so often, until the lentils have broken down and become a purée, about 20  30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Next, prepare the greens. Wash them and put them into a big pot with water droplets still on the leaves. Cover the pot and turn the heat to medium-high. Steam them for 3  5 minutes, tossing them with tongs a couple times to make sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Once they are just wilted, turn off the heat.

Ladle lentils over rice in wide shallow bowls. Top with a tangle of greens. Serve with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over.

*If you add 4 cups of stock, you will have a stewy soup and you don't need to serve it with rice. But I like the rice!

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