Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Beluga Lentils with Oyster Mushrooms

Above are oyster mushrooms, which I am now able to find occasionally at my neighborhood grocery store. They were on sale recently, and I couldn't resist pairing them with beluga lentils, seen below.

I suppose it is obvious why these lentils are called beluga; not because they are as big as whales, but because they resemble caviar. Thankfully they are not priced like caviar! The reason I have the lentils on the sheet pan is because that is how I sort through legumes before cooking them, to look for rocks and twigs and such.

The recipe is a combination of a couple of lentil recipes I use, one from the August 2004 Bon Appetit and the other from my sister. Don't worry if you can't find beluga lentils or oyster mushrooms though, because the recipe would be good with any type of lentil or mushroom.

Beluga Lentils with Oyster Mushrooms and Greens

  • 1 cup beluga lentils, uncooked
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth OR add an extra cup of water to the two cups below
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf OR part of one stalk of kombu sea vegetable (to keep with the theme)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 of one onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • one small package of oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • a dash of wine (any kind you are drinking or cooking sherry)
  • a few cups of steamed greens (could substitute spinach)
  • up to 1/3 cup marscapone* OR a bit of cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Steam the greens, set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place the water and broth in a pot and add the bay leaf or kombu and the lentils. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 or 20 minutes, or until tender. Discard the bay leaf. If you used kombu, it may have broken apart into pieces. If so, that is fine, it is edible. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a saute pan and fry the onion until transparent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until tender. Add a dash of wine and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Stir in the marscapone or cream and a bit of the broth from the lentils to make a sauce. Simmer on low.
  4. Drain the rest of the pan of lentils, discarding the rest of the broth. Then add the drained lentils to the mushroom mixture. Stir then simmer a few minutes to blend the flavors. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

*marscapone cheese is Italian cream cheese

Shown served over basmati rice.

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