Monday, August 18, 2008

Beluga Lentils with Wild Mushrooms and Herbs

I was following a recipe from "The Low Fat Cookbook" today even though I wasn't cooking for someone that needed "low" fat. We all know that fat is flavor! I liked how the dish sounded so I thought I would give it a try. Well, I started changing things right from the beginning. The recipe called for baby lentils and I used beluga, mainly because I have a bunch of them already in my pantry. The recipe says to cook the onion and garlic in stock and red wine, which is a low fat method. I sauteed them in olive oil instead. I also added sauteed leeks, which made this dish even more beautiful. The colors were such a surprise and I just loved looking at the dish while I ate it. The bright green of the leeks and the deep purple of the onions play beautifully against the black lentils.

Here is the recipe, some things are approximate as I was creating as I went...

1 .05 oz package dried oyster or porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups beluga lentils
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh oregano
1 tsp sea salt
4 cups vegetable stock, plus 1/4 cup
3 tbsps olive oil, divided
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 leek, thinly sliced
7 shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion in long slices
1/2 cup red wine
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

1. Place dried mushrooms in small bowl. Pour warm water over mushrooms and let sit 30 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid. Chop mushrooms and set aside.

2. Rinse and pick through lentils to remove any grains or stones. Place in large pot with thyme, oregano, vegetable stock and mushroom soaking liquid. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and drain if necessary. Place in a large bowl. Pull out herb sprigs, pull off any remaining leaves and put back in with lentils. Discard sprigs.

2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in medium frying pan and saute garlic and leeks over low heat until fragrant and soft, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup vegetable stock and let simmer until leeks are soft or until liquid is almost gone. Add chopped oyster mushrooms and saute another minute. Place in bowl with lentils.

3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in same pan over medium low heat and saute shitake mushrooms until tender and a little browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

4. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in same pan and saute onions until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Pour in red wine and heat until liquid is almost gone. Place in bowl with lentils.

5. Stir lentils. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in servings bowl and top with shitake mushrooms. Enjoy!

This is the pot with the lentils, stock and herbs. I thought it looked so pretty that I had to take a picture.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Lentil Recipes are always the best, i love these little gems,you can do so much with them, and this recipe looks delicious, i will definitly give it a try ... kudos to the chef, and the pics are beautiful too... denny