Diffficulty Level Easy
Usually when I cook lentils, I'm making them as part of a recipe where they get cooked with other ingredients that flavour them. When I made Lentil Ricotta Balls last week I just needed two cups of plain lentils to puree. I decided to make a larger pot of them so I could add a spoonful here and there to other dishes for the extra nutrients and fibre. I ended up with quite a lot of plain, cooked lentils, so I thought a fridge clearing salad would be in order.
I love these kinds of dishes, where you put a bunch of ingredients out on the kitchen counter, decide what flavours you feel like having for that particular meal, and then put it together in a matter of minutes. I could have gone in the direction of curry, but I had the ricotta and a bit of uncooked chicken, the end of a jar of my marinated red peppers and some fresh thyme so I made a dish that had more of a Mediterranean flavour.
Part of the fun of cooking is just experimenting with ingredients and flavours and seeing what you come up with. It isn't alway a success, but sometimes I learn as much from something that wasn't as successful as I hoped as I do from something that worked really well. With that in mind, take this recipe as a guide and check out what you have in your own refrigerator to add to plain lentils. I used chicken because I had some, but if you leave it out the dish is vegetarian. Leave out the ricotta cheese as well and it's vegan.
As a complete aside, you may be able to tell from dappled light in the photo that it was taken outside in my garden - in Toronto, in mid-March!
|1 tbsp||extra virgin olive oil|
|1||small onion, diced|
|1||garlic clove, minced|
|2 oz||chicken, cut into small pieces|
|2||sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme|
|1 1/4 cups||cooked green lentils|
|1/2||roasted red pepper|
|1 oz||fresh ricotta cheese|
|1/4 cup||parsley, chopped|
|salt and pepper to taste|
- Heat oil in skillet until shimmering and add onion. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes more.
- Add chicken and cook over medium heat until it is no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme and continue to saute until chicken and mushrooms are cooked, about 10 minutes or so.
- Add lentils and roasted red peppers and cook until heated through. Taste for salt and pepper. Top with ricotta and parsley and serve.