Monday, January 7, 2013

Some Mediterranean Lentil Love

I love rapini.

It's kind of like if spinach and broccoli had a baby and the baby was bitter about it. Also known as broccoli rabe, it's (oddly enough) a member of the turnip family and has a nutty, slightly bitter taste.  Super nutritious and easy to prepare, this super green veggie is perfect for a side dish or as a component in a larger dish.

Like this...

Rapini with Red Lentils

The slightly bitter notes of the rapini play beautifully against the sweetness of the carrots and onions as well as the briney hues of the capers.

1 cup red lentils
1 bunch rapini
2 carrots, diced into 1/2" cubes
1 rib celery, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbl capers, drained
2 Tbl red wine vinegar
2 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl fresh rosemary
1/4 cup fresh parsley

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add lentils, reduce heat, and cover.  Cook for about 15 minutes (but you may want to check them after ten as red lentils cook pretty quickly). Drain and set aside.

While the lentils cook, fill a large, deep skillet about 2/3 of the way with water.  Salt liberally and bring to a boil.  Trim the ends of the rapini and plunge into the water.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes until bright green and tender.  Drain rapini and set aside.

Return pan to heat.  Drizzle in oil and saute onions for five minutes.  Add carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary.  Cook until carrots begin to soften, about five to seven minutes.  Add rapini, lentils, capers, vinegar, and parsley.  Stir to combine and cook until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.