After going a little loco as of late with my hectic work/school/internship schedule, which includes a lot of fancy-schmancy commercial kitchen cooking, I decided tonight to bring things back to basics and make a simple impromptu lentil stew. I hope to refocus the next few posts on food that highlights simplicity, freshness, and healthfulness. It's about time I took it down a notch.
This is the sort of easy weeknight dinner you can start 1 hour in advance and completely ignore most of the time it's on the stove. I used a Moroccan-esque spice combination of cumin, cinnamon, and paprika, but go ahead and dabble in your own herbal hocus-pocus, substituting out any of the aromatics for others. This iteration of the dish goes well over basmati or brown (or brown basmati!) rice.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon each: cumin, cinnamon, paprika
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 3 cups plus 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon dark miso
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 handfuls fresh leafy greens (spinach, arugula, tat soi, etc.)
- salt to taste
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot, tilting to coat, and add the garlic, ginger, and onion. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened and fragrant.
Add the lentils and 3 cups water and bring to a boil, covered. Lower heat and simmer, partially covered, about 30 minutes. Dissolve miso in a dish with remaining 1/2 cup water and add to the pot, stirring to incorporate. Continue to simmer, partially covered, another 20 minutes or so, until the lentils are softened but not falling apart. Season with salt to taste (you won't need much, since the miso adds saltiness).
Just before serving, stir in the peas first, mix briefly, and fold in the greens. Cook until peas are thawed and bright green and greens are just wilted. Ladle into bowls over rice and enjoy hot.