A few months ago, I was in Berkeley to meet some friends at Jupiter. I arrived a little early, so I walked down to Pegasus, a bookstore I love, to kill some time browsing. I collect cookbooks, so after looking at some of the new books, I moved to that section and found a gem. In fact, this may be the perfect cookbook: Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi. It has a gorgeous cover (check my link to Amazon) with a picture of roasted eggplant with pomegranate seeds--and the interior is filled with beautiful, imaginative recipes for vegetable dishes. Although I'm not vegetarian, I tend to cook vegetarian food at home. But I'm also bored by many of the vegetarian cookbooks I own, which is why Plenty was such a great find. I love that the recipes combine ingredients in interesting and innovative ways--and that they include "exotic" spices and herbs. I also find just about every picture appealing; I turn each page and think "Oh, I want to make THAT!"
Today I cooked a dish adapted from the cookbook: Puy Lentil Galettes. I left out the galette part and only prepared the lentils. The result was a fresh tasting, slightly (surprisingly) sweet, and healthy dish. I highly recommend it. Here's the recipe:
Puy Lentils (adapted from Plenty)
1 c. puy lentils
2 bay leaves (mine were quite small so I used four)
1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
4 T. olive oil
1 medium onion (roughly chopped)
2 large garlic cloves (minced)
3/4 c. Greek yogurt (I used non-fat)
2 c. baby spinach leaves
3 T. chopped cilantro
2 T. chopped mint
juice of 1 lemon
salt and black pepper to taste
1. Cook the lentils in a quart of boiling water with the bay leaves for 20 to 30 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil and fry the onion for 6 to 8 minutes until golden and very soft. Add the cumin, coriander, and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add to the lentils and cool.
3. Add the yogurt, spinach, herbs, and lemon juice to the lentils. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.