Perhaps I am hoping against hope here, but I like to think that Julia Child would get on board the Meatless Monday train once in a while, were she still alive.
I first became obsessed with the idea of a vegetarian take on her classic beef bourguignon several years ago after seeing Smitten Kitchen’s Mushroom Bourguingnon recreated on another blog. It kicked around my head for a long time before I finally whipped up my own version for a Valentine’s Day dinner party with some lady friends back in 2011. Agh! I can’t believe how long ago that sounds! Anyway, I added some lentils to mine for a little extra protein, and I’ve been making it that way ever since.
This recipe is far from traditional (note the lack of butter), but I can promise that it is delicious and satisfying thanks to a generous amount of protein and fiber. It’s the perfect warming meal for a cold night, and it also happens to be a great excuse to open a bottle of wine. It’s often that thing I make when I just want to have a glass and need to justify opening the whole bottle. #SingleLadyProblems.
Mushroom Lentil Bourguignon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pounds sliced Portobello or cremini mushrooms
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup red wine
- 2-3 cups beef or vegetable broth (or water)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup cooked green lentils (or ½ c dry, cooked according to package direction)
- 1 cup pearl onions, peeled (thawed if frozen)
- Salt & pepper to taste
1.) Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy sauce pan or stock pot over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they just begin to darken, (~3 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.
2.) Lower heat to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and cook about 10, minutes stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to lightly brown.
3.) Add the wine to the pot, scraping up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat all the way up and allow contents of pot to reduce by half (cooks off the alcohol). Stir in the tomato paste and broth/water. Add back the mushrooms and then the lentils and pearl onions.
4.) Lower heat and simmer ~ 20-25 minutes or until it reaches desired thickness.
The traditional way to serve this is over egg noodles with sour cream and sprinkle with chives or parsley, but I actually like it over steamed greens like kale or spinach with some crusty bread on the side for dipping. It’s also delicious with some crumbled goat cheese on top.
What do you think—would Julia Child be a Meatless Monday supporter?
Naturally, after a long-ass post about not doing many new recipes yesterday, I got the urge to chop the hell out of some garlic and create something. The result was this delicious red lentil ragu.
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1.5 cups dried red lentils
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ~3 cups water
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook gently for ~5 minutes until soft.
- Stir in red lentils, chopped tomatoes, and seasonings. Add water. Bring to a boil, then simmer and hen cook on low for 40-50 mins until the lentils are tender.
Serve over pasta or—as I did—steamed kale (I wanted to have toast with avocado on the side). Top with grated parmesan cheese if desired.
This post is part of the Weekend Kitchen Creations link party. Check them out to see more recipes from other bloggers!
Do you like red lentils? What was the last thing you cooked?
One thing that can be frustrating about living in New York is that everyone is so busy. On the other hand, I love being friends with so many ambitious, smart, talented people. It helps that we just kind of assume we’re all busy, so no one takes it personally when it’s hard to make plans. However, it makes it extra-special when we manage to get it together. Even when you haven’t seen each other in months, you can pick up right where you left off. Case in point: last night I celebrated an old friend’s birthday, and it was like maybe a week had gone by since we’d seen each other!
I actually stayed out past midnight and did not turn into a pumpkin. Small victories. Of course, I still woke up at 7:30 this morning without my alarm, but fortunately, I didn’t really feel the wine and champagne I’d enjoyed last night. I even went to the 9 a.m. yoga class I love.
So far, the rest of my day is going to include laundry and catching up on work. Oh, and making soup, because I do a lot of that this time of year. Today’s concoction is French lentil soup with mushrooms, roasted eggplant, and red miso. We’ll see about the rest.
What are your weekend plans? Any favorite soup concoctions?
Do you like to cook ahead? What kinds of things do you make?
One great thing about not traveling far for Thanksgiving this year was that I got to spend more time on the dish I contributed. It also rocked not having to transport it to Boston in a backpack.
I ended up adapting one of my favorite soups into a red lentil risotto of sorts. With the roasted apples and butternut squash and caramelized shallots, it went perfectly with the more traditional Thanksgiving foods on the table. I enjoyed it in lieu of turkey (along with some of my mom’s spinach and feta pie), but it also works as a side dish.
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, sliced lengthwise
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2-3 golden delicious (or other) apples, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1-lb bag of red lentils, rinsed well
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- red pepper flakes (optional but delicious)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 cups water (you may need more)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the butternut squash with 1 tbsp olive oil, spread on a baking sheet, and bake about 40 minutes.
- Toss apple with another tbsp oil, spread on a baking sheet, and bake 20-30 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp oil and then add shallot. Cook on medium heat until shallots begin to brown, about 5-10 minutes. Add lentil and 2 cups water. Add spices.
- Continue to cook as you would risotto, stirring often to prevent lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add more liquid a little at a time, waiting until the rest has been absorbed before adding more. You want the lentils tender but not mushy, so test them a few times. *
- When lentils are done cooking, stir in apple and squash pieces. Adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve warm or room temperature
*If you want to make this into a soup, simply add more water *(~5-6 cups), bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.
Hope you enjoy! I have no idea if it makes any logical sense to call a red lentil dish a risotto, but I’m going with it!
To anyone who refuses to believe that lentils, brown rice, and veggies can fill you up:
Make this and call me in the morning.
In the summer, I tend to eat a lot of salads for lunch, but once the weather cools down, I branch out a lot more and try different things. Today, I found a new favorite: lentils with sweet potatoes and spinach.