This is a tasty one. This dish is loaded with healthy ingredients and it is easy to make. I will definitely be making this dish again. In fact I already have.
The sun dried tomatoes, with the sweet currants, the nutty flavour of the roasted pine nuts, smokey paprika, fresh herbs and a little kick of cayenne certainly bring these rice and lentils to life.
I want to call this a pilaf but by the definition of a pilaf it is not. A pilaf is a dish where the rice is sautéed first and then cooked and seasoned. The pilaf cooking technique is meant to keep the grains of rice separate and fluffy. I probably could have cooked this dish this way and then been able to call it a pilaf. I guess it’s just a rice dish. It’s really good is all that really matters. Maybe next time I make it I will try and do it all together in one pot and save some dishes and call it a pilaf.
Sweet & Spicy Rice, Lentil, Spinach Pilaf
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 cup green or brown lentils
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomato
1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted
1/4 cup currants
2 tbsp coconut oil
A sprig of fresh rosemary, stem removed and finely chopped (or a few sage leaves if you prefer)
1 tsp paprika
A pinch of cayenne paper (more if you like it spicy)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 packed cups of roughly chopped baby spinach
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for finishing
First 2 things you need to do are cook your rice and lentils.
Combine the rice with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer on med-low for 25 minutes until rice is cooked and all the water is gone.
In a medium saucepan, cover your lentils with water and bring to a boil. Cook for 20-25 minutes depending on your lentils. You don’t want to overcook them. Make sure they are tender but still hold their shape. Drain and set a side.
While your rice and lentils are cooking you can begin to prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Heat a large deep pan to medium with the coconut oil in it. Once it is hot add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 5-7 minutes stirring often until they are soft and translucent.
Now add the rosemary, paprika, cayenne and some salt and pepper. Cook for another minute or so.
Now add the sun dried tomatoes, currants, pine nuts, rice and lentils. Mix everything together. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in chopped spinach, cover and remove from heat. The spinach should just wilt in to the dish nicely.
Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if necessary. Drizzle with a little olive oil if you want.
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