Recipes for Shabbat
By Eileen Goltz
It's the winter of my culinary discontent. The fresh summer and fall vegetables and fruits that I've come to expect just aren't available and I'm finding it a little difficult to come up with something "new" to serve this shabbos. I was just about to give up when I rediscover something in my pantry that was old but through the magic of some wonderful recipes became new again. I discovered the lentil.
So, what exactly is a lentil and why would you want to use it? The lentil is a cousin of the bean, and both are a part of the legume family. Lentils are shaped like a lens. In fact, a little factoid that you don't really need to know but is kind of interesting is that lens is the Latin word for lentil.
One cup of cooked lentils provides 90% of the recommended daily allowance of Folic acid. They are also a great source of iron, chock full of protein and full of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps with digestion and can also help lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber has been known to help maintain insulin levels for people with diabetes.
Lentils are easy to prepare. You need to
sort and remove any debris then rinse and boil the lentils for fifteen to
twenty minutes. There is no need to soak lentils. Storing lentils is simple.
They will keep indefinitely in a cool, dry place. Here are a few tips on
cooking with lentils and some ideas for making the most of their flavors and
Combine the lentils, rice, water, cumin,
salt, pepper, and soup mix in a large stock pot and bring the mixture to a
boil. Reduce the temperature to a simmer. Cover and let simmer, stirring
occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Add the spinach,
cilantro, lemon juice. Mix to combine the ingredients. Continue cooking the
soup for another 5 minutes until all the ingredients are hot. Makes 4
servings. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
In a saucepan saute the onion, garlic and
mushrooms in the oil until the onion is soft. Add the tomato sauce, tomato
paste, water, lentils, basil, oregano, sugar, bay leaf, salt and pepper and
bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the saucepan. Simmer
the sauce on a low heat for 30-40 minutes. Serve over pasta. Makes 4
Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add the
lentils and lower the heat to a simmer,
In a medium saucepan, combine lentils,
onion halves and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and
simmer covered for 15 minutes (don't worry that there is too much water,
you'll need it for later on in the recipe). Meanwhile, in a skillet heat the
oil and saute chopped onion over a medium-low heat, stirring often, until
the onions are translucent. Reduce the heat and continue cooking, stirring
occasionally until onions are a rich, golden-dark brown, about 30 minutes.
Set the onions aside.
Put the lentils in a medium saucepan with
the water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the
heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the lentils are tender,
about 25 minutes. Drain and return the lentils to the pan. Add 2 tablespoons
of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the red wine vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of
salt. Mix gently and set aside. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 2
tablespoons of the remaining olive oil over moderately low heat. Add the
onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, pepper, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring
occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove t he
vegetables from the heat and add 1 tablespoon of the remaining red wine
vinegar. Combine the cooked lentils with the vegetables and let cool to room
temperature. Shortly before serving, stir the toasted almonds and parsley
into the lentil mixture. Put the salad greens in a large bowl and toss them
with the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt to taste. Place
approx. 1 cup of the salad greens on each of the individual serving plates
and then divide the lentil salad between the plates spooning the lentil
mixture over the greens. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
In a stock pot combine the lentils and
water and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the
lentils are tender but still whole. Preheat oven to 350 Add the molasses,
brown sugar, vinegar, catsup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce,
onions and liquid smoke to the cooked lentils. Mix well and then spoon the
mixture into a lightly greased baking dish and bake for 45 minutes. Makes 6
© Eileen Goltz 2002