Saturday, February 5, 2011

Earthy Shade of Winter (Spiced Lentils & Roasted Cauliflower)

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Sick of winter? Yeah, me too. Soup and stew season, for sure. The cold also lends itself to cravings for heavy, meaty food – and I was in the mood to make something a little healthier. This pair of vegetarian dishes were absolutely splendid side by side.

The cauliflower recipe originally called for golden raisins, but I thought the cranberries gave a much brighter flavor. The lime juice was a last minute addition to the lentil recipe. Lime juice just goes so well with greens and earthy flavors for balance.

To drink? A dirty, funky Bordeaux. Decant well, people. Enjoy!

Spiced Lentils with Mushrooms & Greens

  • 1 c. lentils
  • 1/2 lb. sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 lb. Swiss chard or other greens, large stems discarded, leaves chopped coarsely
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • juice of a lime

In a small saucepan, bring the lentils, some salt, and 2 1/2 c. water to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

In another saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms, some salt, and a splash of red wine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-7 minutes, or until mushrooms have given off most of their liquid. Add spices and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the greens and cook, stirring, until wilted – about 3-4 minutes.

Add the lentils with the cooking water to the mushrooms & greens. Bring to a simmer. Simmer 4-5 minutes. Add the parsley and lime juice.


Roasted Cauliflower with Dried Cranberries

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 375. Spread the cauliflower florets in a baking pan and drizzle with vinegar and a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Toss until coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again. Roast for 40 minutes or until tender.

In a small skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add the cranberries and saute for a minute or so, until berries are hot. Add the raisins to the cauliflower along with the parsley and cheese and toss to mix.


  1. Nice! Definitely going to try the lentils 'n' shrooms. Always on the hunt for vegetarian recipes that won't elicit laments for missing meat. Thankee.

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