Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Tonight, Swedish Lamb Stew with loads of dill was on my menu. The cold front hadn't arrived yet and I wasn't really feeling very stew-like. Instead, lentils was on my brain. My neighbor talked about making lentils yesterday and I kept thinking, it's been awhile since we've had lentils. I remembered the finalists in a lentil contest I'd seen on food52. I checked them out and we had lentils for supper.

The lentils were fabulous. I know it's been a good meal, when two hours later, I am still thinking about how good the meal was. There is nothing to this meal--the preparation couldn't be easier and the ingredients are ordinary. Curtis and I loved it though. I am looking forward to the leftovers. It wasn't a hit with M or J. Little I liked it ok, but the big two decided to stick with beets for supper (yep, that's all they ate) until the challah bread came out of the oven. (I just couldn't deny them warm challah with nutella for dessert. They did eat their veggies after all, just nothing else).

This recipe will serve 4

adapted slightly from Rivka on food52.com

3/4 c French lentils (or any lentils you can find will do)
1 c jasmine rice (again, you can substitute other rice if necessary)
2 T butter
3 T olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t paprika
3 T fresh mint, chopped
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

Cook lentils with 1/2 t salt and 4 c water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft, but not mushy. Drain and set aside.

Bring rice, 1/2 t salt, and 2 c water to a boil in a medium pot. Once water boils, reduce heat as low as possible and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice is done.

While rice cooks, heat butter and 2 T olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Once butter is almost melted, add onions and toss to coat onions. Once onions have softened slightly and released their liquid (about 5 minutes), increase heat to medium and cook another 10 - 12 minutes, or until onions are very soft and browned. (Add water by T if onions are too soft). When onions are very browned, add 1 more T oil and increase heat to high. Cook another 3-4 minutes, without much stirring, until the bottom layer of onions is charred and crisp.

Combine rice, lentils, and most of the onions in a large serving bowl. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Taste and season with more onions if desired. While the rice/lentils/onions sit, make the yogurt sauce. To make the sauce mix together yogurt, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, paprika, mint, lemon juice/zest, and 1/4 t salt in a small bowl.

Reheat the mujaddara if it has cooled significantly in a low oven or microwave for a couple of minutes. To serve, plate a scoop of mujaddara and top with spiced yogurt.

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