Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crispy Lentils with Lamb

The combination of lamb and lentils is not one I would have easily come up with, but I love cumin so when I saw this featured on food52, I immediately tried it.  I've made this dish now several times and have adapted it to suit our family composition of two omnivores and one vegetarian (although Maddy has asked that I no longer refer to her as Veggie Girl, the moniker remains oh-so-fitting).  It's an easy weeknight dinner and even possible to make, as I do, in two pans simultaneously.  I will explain how I do that below, for any of you likewise mixed families.

But first, a couple of tips.  This dish is equally tasty made with ground beef, and, I have to come clean, with pre-coooked lentils from Trader Joe's refrigerated section.  When I used the pre-cooked lentils, I deglazed the pan with white wine left over in the fridge instead of the lentil water called for.  I serve with large leaves of lettuce in which to wrap a few spoonfuls of the mix and with some warm pita and yogurt or labne (please, please try Rivka's which is delicious and save for a little advance planning, incredibly simple to make.  I use 2% Greek yogurt for this).  For a vegetable side dish, roast some cauliflower  or diced eggplant on an oiled pan in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes or so.

I make this in one larger pan and one smaller one, using the smaller one for a lentil only version.  In the smaller pan, I skip the lamb and just put the lentils in with a little olive oil.  I use about 1/3 of the lentils for the vegetarian version and 2/3 for the one with lamb.  In step 2, I add the spices and garlic and wine proportionally to the two pans and watch and stir both.  Both versions taste great!

Photo credits: Maddy Bazil