Rice is a grain, lentils a legume. Combine the two and you have a perfect source of vegetarian protein. Of course, you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the wholesome, tasty richness of this healthy duo.
Yield: 4 Servings
a splash olive oil
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice
1 cup dried lentils
4 cups chicken broth or water
a bay leaf or two
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Splash the olive oil into a small pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until they just start to turn golden brown.
Add the rice, lentils, chicken broth (or water), bay leaves and salt and pepper. Bring everything to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to low, just enough to maintain the simmer. Continue cooking until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving.
You may add any fresh or dried herbs you like to this dish. Rosemary, thyme and tarragon all work well. At the last second, you may also add 1/2 cup (125 mL) or so of raisins or some sliced green onions.
Risotto is one of the world’s great rice dishes. It’s a traditional Italian dish that must be made from rice varieties with very high starch contents. Its distinctive cooking method gently coaxes the starches out of each rice grain, giving the dish its characteristic creaminess. An exercise in patience, but the results are more than worth the effort!