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.
This is one of my all-time favourite comfort foods. Just like high-starch rice, barley may be simmered and stirred into a smooth, creamy risotto, absorbing the flavour of the bacon and rich chicken broth as it slowly cooks. The results are richly flavoured and deeply satisfying.