Dishing Up the Dirt

Lentils & Carrots with Swiss Chard & Yogurt

This is the kind of summertime meal I love. It’s nourishing, simple, and packed with a ton of flavor without much fuss. This week we’re pulling a lot of carrots out of the ground and I wanted to create a simple recipe that incorporates them in a tasty and unique way.  And because our CSA members are getting rainbow chard and lots of cilantro in their shares this week, I thought I’d throw those into the mix too. This dish tastes great served with a side of steamed brown rice and some grilled flatbreads for spooning up extra lentils and yogurt. I love that this dish can be served warm, at room temperature or even slightly chilled. It makes wonderful leftovers and is a great recipe to turn to throughout the summer and fall. I left this vegetarian but I imagine some grilled sausages would taste great tossed into the finished dish. Regardless of what you choose to do, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the flavors and textures of this simple meal. A quick note on the lentils- I soak mine for about 8 hours in room temperature water for easier digestion. You can skip this step if you are short on time but if you remember the morning of give this a quick soak.

Cheers to the summer bounty!

Lentils & Carrots with Swiss Chard & Yogurt

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 45 minutes    Serves: 4

  • 3/4 cup puy lentils + 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 4 medium sized carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons melted ghee (or butter) divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, leaves thinly sliced (stems saved for another use)
  • 4-6 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for serving
  • Extra virgin olive oil for serving

Preparation

  1. Place the lentils in a pot and cover with 2 cups of water and 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Leave at room temperature for 8 hours (see note). Drain the lentils and rinse them under cold water.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan filled 3/4 of the way with water to a boil. Once boiling, add the lentils, decrease the heat to medium, and cook for about 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are soft but still hold a bit of a bite. Drain and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss the carrots with the melted ghee, salt and pepper and place them on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until lightly browned and tender. About 30 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining ghee to a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, caraway, cumin, and a fat pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown and fragrant. Add the chard, cooked carrots, lentils and water. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the chard leaves wilt down a bit and become bright green.
  5. Remove from the heat, and top with the yogurt, lemon juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

*Soaking the lentils in an acid helps to break down their starches and phtyic acid which makes them easier to digest *This recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbook "Simple"


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