Spring is just behind the corner and farewell comes to cold season dishes. So it’s time to cook them for the last time till late autumn.
A few words about this dish.
I discovered that I like all kinds of legumes just a few years ago and since then I have had all varieties of them in my kitchen and I use them widely in cooking.
Lentils take a special place among all beans for me. In Slovakia lentils soup is one of the most common dishes so you can’t impress anyone with using lentils, but as I tried them for the first time on Christmas Eve in 2013 they are still something new and undiscovered for me.
Here is one of my favourite dishes with lentils: lentils are stewed with leek, kale and mushrooms.
For 4 portions:
1 1/2 cups of lentils (I used brown lentils)
400 g of kale chopped, stems removed*
Approximately 1/3 of middle sized leek
300 g of mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms)
200 g of tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves minced
*I used frozen kale. I know that it’s not good, but it saves time (I can’t allow myself to cook dinner for much longer than half an hour during a week and frozen stuff cooks faster) and it saves money too. I am aware of lower nutrition value but it’s still better than buying to eat ready frozen food or junk crap.
How to do it
Soak properly washed lentils for minimum 4 hours (or better in the morning if you are going to cook in the evening) and then boil until they become soft (it will take up to 40 min). I prefer to change water before boiling (as it will cause less body reactions huh).
While the lentils are cooking, fry on warmed olive oil sliced leek and mushrooms, seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook it on medium heat until it become soft.
Then when lentils are ready, add kale with tomato pasta, garlic, salt and species to a pot. Add some water if necessary. Boil for 10 min to mix the tastes and then add leek with mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes more on a low heat stirring from time to time.
I like to serve this stew with fresh greens like coriander or basil but it’s not necessary. Also, in Slovakia such type of stews is usually served with sunny side up egg on the top. And it’s a very nice addition to this dish I should say 🙂
And a short note about this stew ingredients from food history point of view. All main ingredients of this dish, lentils, leek, mushrooms and cabbage have Old World origin and only tomatoes come from New World. So I guess that almost same dish could be prepared even in Middle Ages before Columbian exchange vegetables appeared here in Europe