Green Lentils with Roasted Beets and Carrots, Swiss Chard “Salad”

by Jennifer

The beets and carrots can be roasting, the lentils can be cooking, and the chard can be blanched and cooled all during the same time period;  this dinner can be ready in about 40 minutes, barring interruptions, of course!  The lentils are delicious warm or at room temperature.  One of my kids was sick today so while we hung out at home I decided to make some Semolina Bread to go with dinner, which turned out to be a huge hit with the kids (who says jam with bread can’t go with lentils?).  Serves 4.

Green Lentils with Roasted Beets and Carrots – adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

  • 3/4 – 1 lb beets, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 parsley sprigs plus 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • grated zest from two lemons

For vinaigrette:

  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 5 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss beets and carrots with 2 tsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast

until tender, about 35 minutes.

Place lentils, onion, bay leaf and parsley sprigs in a medium pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, cooking the lentils until tender, about 25 minutes.

Drain lentils and discard the bay leaf and parsley sprigs.  Combine lemon juice and shallot and let it sit for 15 minutes;  whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl combine roasted beets and carrots, lentils and onions, chopped parsley, lemon zest, and vinaigrette, stirring gently to combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Swiss Chard “Salad”

  • 1 lb Swiss chard
  • 2 TBS pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Remove stems and ribs from chard and

thinly slice the leaves.  Blanch chard by cooking it in the boiling water for 20 seconds,

then drain and run under cool water to stop the cooking process.  Squeeze chard dry.

In a small bowl toss the chard with the oil, then the vinegar, seasoning with pepper and adding the pine nuts.


Lentils with Butternut Squash and Walnuts, Green Salad with Lemon Dressing

by Jennifer

The lentil recipe, from Gourmet magazine, is intended to be a side dish, but doubled makes a delicious main dish:  sweet and savory, creamy and crunchy.  My stepmother taught me this dressing for greens, and it’s tart and wonderful.  Serve with crusty bread, or with challah, as I did.

Serves 4.

Lentils with Butternut Squash and Walnuts – adapted from Gourmet magazine

I prefer French green lentils over regular lentils because they keep their shape and texture better.

Serves 4.

  • 1 medium butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, chopped into 1/2” pieces
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 1 cup halved or chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup French green lentils, rinsed
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large roasting pan combine the squash, shallots, olive oil, curry powder, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Add walnuts, stir, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Stir in cilantro and lime juice.

Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Boil lentils over medium-high heat for 20 minutes;  drain.

Add to squash mixture, tossing gently to combine.

Green Salad with Lemon Dressing

Serves 4.

  • 5 – 7 oz. salad greens
  • 1/2 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together garlic through pepper.

Toss with salad greens just prior to serving.

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions, Brown Basmati Rice, and Roasted Cauliflower

By Jennifer

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions, Brown Basmati Rice, and Roasted Cauliflower

I suggest doubling the dal and freezing half for another night.  To make the most of your time, start the rice first;  get the dal cooking;  preheat the oven;  char the onions;  and about halfway through the dal cooking time, put the cauliflower in the oven.

Serves 4 adults.

Red Lentil Dal with Charred Onions – adapted from Cooking Light

Red lentil dal

  • 1 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and then cut into 1/4” thick slices
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 TBS minced peeled fresh ginger (from 2” piece of ginger)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1/2 a lime

Spices to roast in pan

In a small saucepan, heat the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and clove over medium heat until fragrant.

Spices, roasted, ready to grind

In a clean coffee or spice grinder, combine the seeds and the remaining spices (coriander through cardamom)

and pulse until ground.

Garlic and ginger in the pot (I am doubling the recipe)

Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Adding spices

Add the spices to the pot and stir for a minute.

Adding red lentils

Add the lentils, broth and tomatoes with their juice.  Bring to a boil;  cover and lower the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tsp. of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

Sliced onions in pan

Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally,

Onions, charred

until they are charred (blackened, but not super burnt).

Let cool, then transfer them to a cutting board and chop.

When the dal is finished cooking, add the onions, cilantro and lime juice.  Serve over basmati rice.

Red lentil dal

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 TBS olive oil
  • sea salt

Cauliflower, ready to roast

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Toss the cauliflower and olive oil together on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast until the cauliflower is tender and slightly browned, stirring once, about 15 – 20 minutes.

Cauliflower, roasted

Celeriac and lentils with hazelnut and mint; Beet, Orange and Black Olive Salad; French bread

By Jennifer

Celeriac and lentils with hazelnut and mint;  Beet, Orange and Black Olive Salad;  French bread

This dinner was delicious.  Just saying.

Celeriac and lentils with hazelnut and mint – adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

  • 1/3 cup whole hazelnuts (skin on)
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 small celeriac (celery root), peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced
  • 4 TBS olive oil
  • 3 TBS red wine vinegar
  • salt and black pepper
  • 4 TBS chopped fresh mint

Roast the hazelnuts on a small baking sheet in a 275 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Cool and chop.

Lentils, bay leaves and thyme in the pot

Bring the lentils, water, bay leaves and thyme to a boil in a pot;  simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.  Drain and discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Celeriac, aka celery root

Celeriac, peeled and sliced

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add the celeriac;  boil for 8 – 12 minutes, until tender.  Drain.

Combining everything in a bowl

Toss the warm lentils, celeriac, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a bowl.  Add most of the hazelnuts and mint;  toss to combine.  Sprinkle remaining nuts and mint on top.  Serve with crusty French bread and with the Beet, Orange and Black Olive Salad.

Celeriac and lentils with hazelnut and mint;  Beet, Orange and Black Olive Salad;  French bread

Lentil Soup with Balsamic-Roasted Root Vegetables

By Jennifer

Lentil Soup with Balsamic-Roasted Root Vegetables

This recipe is an adaptation from an old Cooking Light recipe, and it’s delicious.  Soup is great for weeknights, particularly busy weeknights when you are getting home at dinner time, because soup is even better after it’s sat a bit.  Make it earlier in the day, or the day ahead, knowing a busy night is coming up, and all you have to do is heat it up.  Serve it with crusty French bread.

  • 1 1/2 pounds of varied root vegetables (I used a bunch of stuff I got from our CSA pick-up – shout out to Farmer Dave! – kohlrabi, turnips, celery root, parsnips and carrots, but sweet potatoes or rutabagas would be good, too), peeled and cubed
  • 3 TBS balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 3 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 TBS fresh thyme leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 cups French green lentils
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I actually used turkey stock I’d made after Thanksgiving and froze)
  • 7 cups (about 8 oz) fresh greens, stems removed and chopped – I used spinach, from my CSA, but kale or swiss chard would be good, too

Vegetables ready to roast

Preheat oven to 375.  On a large rimmed cookie sheet toss together the root vegetables, 2 TBS balsamic vinegar, 2 TBS olive oil and the salt.

Vegetables are roasted

Bake for 30 minutes.

Onions in the pot

While vegetables are baking, heat remaining 1 TBS oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Onions and shallots sauteeing

Sautee the shallots and onion until tender and golden, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, thyme, black pepper to taste and the remaining 1 TBS vinegar, and cook, stirring, for a minute.  Add the wine, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Soup is cooking

Add the lentils and the broth, bring to a boil, cover, turn down to simmer, and let cook for 30 minutes.

Adding the greens

Remove the cover and add the roasted vegetables and the greens, stirring until greens are wilted.  If you make this ahead and at serving time it seems to thick, add a little water or broth while you’re re-heating it. (FYI, my 9 year old, who does not like green things in soup, ate two bowls of this, as well as four slices of buttered bread….)