Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Perfect Middle Eastern Lentil Stew

This recipe for a cozy fall lentil stew from Epicurious is so ideal, I can't find anything to change for once. Nothing. It's easy breezy to pull together on a weeknight, it's totally healthy, and its earthy flavors brightened up with lemon and mint pack much more of a punch than I expected. It's even ultra-healthy and the ingredients are dirt cheap.

Beat that.

Ok - just thought of something. Double or quadruple this puppy to have it on hand for a few meals. Now you just saved yourself two hours in the kitchen for the week.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 cups canned vegetable broth
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed, picked over
  • 8 ounces red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 lemon
  • 6 ounces torn fresh spinach leaves (about 8 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

  • Crumbled feta cheese

Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add vegetable broth and lentils; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add potatoes; cook uncovered until potatoes and lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate 1/2 teaspoon peel from lemon; squeeze enough juice from lemon to measure 2 tablespoons. Add lemon peel, lemon juice, spinach and cayenne to stew. Cover and simmer stew until spinach wilts and is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Mix in mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat before serving.)

Spoon stew into large soup bowls. Sprinkle feta cheese over, if desired.

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