R is for…Red Lentils!
I hope everyone’s still enjoying the A-Z series. We’re coming to the end of Vegan MoFo now. Sob but you’ve probably realized that I’m not going to get to the end of the alphabet by Sunday…I’ve been posting every weekday which will only take me to T by Friday. I’m having a lot of fun with it though, so, if you don’t mind, I’m going to keep going through to Z (though I might skip X unless anyone has any ideas for me!). I’ll try and post over the weekend and wrap up by the middle of next week but that might not be possible.
Back to the topic of the day…red lentils!
Red lentils are a little different to their green, brown and black friends in that they don’t hold their shape at all when cooked. This lends them well to curries, stews, soups and similar dishes where they work to thicken up and add body to whatever it may be. The only red lentil recipe I’ve got up on the blog so far is my Sweet Potato, Spinach & Coconut Dahl but I’m sure that will soon change with the arrival of the colder weather when I start to crave those comforting dishes mentioned.
I’ve been sitting on this recipe for far too long and it’s something I’ve made numerous variations of over time. A flavourful, fragrant Moroccan tagine with root vegetables and red lentils.
I mix up the vegetables every time I make it, this time I was delighted to be able to use both the squash and courgettes from my garden. I recommend a combination of hard, root veg and something green like courgettes or green beans. But it really is up to you.
It’s just occurred to me that this is another sweet and savoury dish, like yesterday’s recipe, so I hope there aren’t too many haters out there!
Tagine has to have fruit in it though. The sweet dried fruits are lovely with the spices and make this dish that bit more special. Just like the vegetables, you can also use whatever dried fruits you have to hand. This time I used a combination of dried apricots and dried figs but have used both prunes and golden raisins in the past with good results.
Red Lentil & Root Vegetable Tagine:
Get creative with this dish and use whatever vegetables and dried fruits sound good to you.
1 Medium onion, diced
1 Large clove of garlic, minced
1” pc ginger, minced
1t Ground coriander
1-2t Harissa (optional if you like a bit of heat- or try 1/2t Chili Flakes)
1/3C Red lentils
1 1/2C Vegetable broth
1 x 400g/14oz Can of chopped tomatoes
1 1/2C Cubed squash (I prefer large chunks)
1 Large carrot, chopped into large chunks
2 Medium courgettes, chopped into large chunks
1/2C Dried fruit (I used a mixture of unsulphured dried apricots and dried figs)
1T Lemon juice
Chopped fresh parsley to serve
This needs to simmer for approximately one hour. You can either do this on the stovetop or in the oven.
If using the latter method, preheat the oven to 180C and place a large casserole dish/tagine in the oven to warm up.
In a large pan, warm the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook for a few minutes until softened and add the garlic, ginger, spices and salt. Cook for a further minute for spices to toast. Add lentils, broth and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add hard vegetables like squash and carrots and stir to coat in sauce.
Transfer mixture to the warmed dish from the oven if using this method and add the dried fruit to the mix. Cover and return to the oven. Check on it every now and again and give it a stir to prevent sticking.
After about 45 minutes add softer vegetables like courgettes or green beans and return to oven again to finish cooking. Mine usually takes around 1 hour total. You want your vegetables to be cooked through and fairly soft, but not collapsing.
Remove from the oven and stir through lemon juice.
I served this with quinoa (of course!) topped with toasted, chopped almonds and plenty of parsley.
I didn’t do a link-love yesterday so you get extra today.
Red lentil recipes I like the look of:
Enough to keep you busy there?
Let me know your thoughts on the A-Z. If you’re getting bored of it please say so!