Rice and Lentils with Veggies
Mediterranean cuisine has a dish called Mujadarah where lentils and rice are cooked together and then topped with slow cooked caramelized onion. It’s delicious and I make it often. This is a spin on that recipe but I cook everything separately and then combine “stuff” together. This way I can experiment and create different dishes from the basic rice and lentils. So today I am making the rice and lentils with cauliflower and carrots. Tomorrow I may combine them with spinach and the next day with roasted cherry tomatoes. You just never know. I am full of surprises.
2 cup long grain basmati rice
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cup lentils
4 cups water or stock
1 small onion, peeled and left whole stuck with a couple of cloves
1 carrot, scrubbed, cut in half
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups cauliflower florets (I happened to have yellow cauliflower on hand)
2 small carrots, sliced
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Greens for garnish (micro greens, baby greens, pea shoots etc.)
To cook the rice: rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Drain, then place in a pot with the water and salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed and the rice grains are fluffy and cooked through. Remove from heat and keep partially covered.
To cook the lentils: rinse lentils and pick over any earthy residue (stones etc., if any). Place lentils in a pot with the stock or water, the onion you stuck with a clove, the thyme and the carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the lentils are cooked through but still retain their shape. Drain the lentils, discarding the onion, thyme stems and carrots.
To cook the vegetables: you can either roast, sauté or even steam the vegetables. To roast, cut the cauliflower and carrots into small pieces, toss with a little olive oil and roast in a preheated 400℉ oven until done, about 10 minutes. To sauté heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil in a pan, add vegetables and sauté until cooked through. If you want to make this dish fat free you can steam the cauliflower and carrots over boiling water until crisp-tender.
To assemble the dish: Combine equal amounts of rice and lentils in a bowl. Keep the unused amount for another dish. Add the cooked vegetables and chopped parsley and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper and if you wish add a spoonful of harissa for a spicy note.