Friday, 23 January 2009

Nutty lentils and braised cabbage pilau

Over the working week, we've consumed the kale, sprouts and parsnips. I am keeping the leeks back for Sundays Burns Supper cock o leekie soup. I have to think a bit more what I want to do with the jerusalem artichokes. But tonight is the turn of the cabbage and here it is - Nutty lentils and braised cabbage pilau.

This dish does not take long, about 45 minutes including preparation. So I think its a good one to keep in mind for after work suppers. Its simple, heart warming food especially on a day like today with the rain being as cold as ice. I think snow is forecast for the weekend. Another short visit to the allotment...

I really like the nuttiness of the lentils and the texture of the cabbage. To make more of a meal of this dish, I sometimes like to serve alongside the the Pilau natural yogurt with grated carrots stirred through it. You could call it carrot tzaki if you wish. Please try this dish at least once. It’s another way to eat and enjoy winter cabbage.

Nutty lentils and braised cabbage Pilau
Serves 4
Start of with the rice
1 pint/550ml vegetable stock made with 1 teaspoon of vegetable stock powder
200g of uncooked rice, washed
100g dried brown or green lentils, washed
½ teaspoon salt to taste
1 teaspoon tarragon or ½ dried tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste

Braised cabbage
2 tablespoons of olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 medium onion finely slices
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
A small Savoy cabbage thinly slices, outer leaves discarded and core cut out
100ml of water
Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Add rice, the lentils, salt and tarragon. Bring to a boil. The turn the heat low and cover the pan and cook for 25 – 30 minutes. Do not lift lid or stir during this time, as this will turn it to risotto consistency, rather than soft fluffy rice.
In the last 5 minutes, lift lid, give it a stir and check if the rice and lentils are tender and the stock has been absorbed. Give it a few more minutes if it still has some stock. When the stock has been absorbed, turn off heat.

While the pilau cooks, start the cabbage. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions, stirring frequently until they have softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, the cabbage, water and salt and pepper. Cover the pan and let the cabbage cook for 10 minutes, checking from time to time, to make sure the pan is not scorching. Remove the lid, and let the cabbage cook for a further 15 minutes or so over medium heat, stirring every five minutes until the water has disappeared and cabbage looks glossy. Turn off heat

Stir the braised cabbage into the rice, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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