Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions

Ok, this is my first time cooking this dish, but it is automatically jumping up to the top of my list of favorite recipes. It's amazing! As I mentioned in my last blog, we had this dish at Roman's, a great restaurant here in town, and we flipped out over how delicious it was, so I was excited when I saw a recipe for it in the Vegan Planet cookbook I bought last weekend. This is the first recipe I've made from Vegan Planet, and if it's an indicator of things to come, I'm delighted! What a great recipe! It was so easy to make. It takes awhile, between letting the lentils simmer, and then letting the rice cook with the lentils afterwards, but there's hardly any active prep time, and it's well worth the wait. I don't want to step on Robin's toes by posting the recipe, but I'll give you the basic idea, and then recommend that you run out to your nearest bookstore forthwith and get yourself a copy of this great cookbook!


To make this dish, your first pre-cook some lentils, and while they're cooking, saute up some diced onion (it calls for shallots, but I used an onion since I was too lazy to go to the store). Remove half the onions and set them aside, then to the rest of the onions, add in lentils, spices, rice and water, then let it simmer away until the rice is cooked. While that's cooking, you cook the reserved onions in some olive oil until they're dark brown, caramelized and crispy. The dish is served topped with the crispy onions.

Seriously, there are not enough good things I can say about this dish! It's immensely satisfying, and was even better than what we had at the restaurant. Delicious! My picture doesn't do it justice, but I hope you can get the idea. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to have much, much more crispy onions on top. We couldn't get enough of them!

My girls weren't too interested in this dish, so I boiled up extra lentils and some plain jasmine rice, and they had that for dinner. Meg ate two big plates of plain lentils and rice, and would have eaten more if we'd let her. I bought a pound of jasmine rice last week, and they've already eaten almost all of it! They can't get enough of hot, unadorned jasmine rice in a bowl. That's my girls!

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