Saturday, February 9, 2008

Lentils and rice, with beet greens and olive oil

I've made this very simple meal before, and always enjoy it. When you want a no-trouble meal for a quiet dinner alone, I highly recommend it.

In a small pot with a well-fitting lid, combine half a cup brown rice, half a cup green lentils, and two cups of home-made vegetable broth. Cover, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for fifty minutes. (Lentils take only thirty, but the rice should not be crunchy; I had crunchy rice tonight.)

Near the end of cooking time (water should have been completely absorbed; check the pot occasionally, adding more water or removing the lid and turning up the heat as necessary), wash a bunch of beets greens (removed from the beets). Beets from Farmers' Market tend to be covered in dirt — if you don't remove this well, your food can pick up an undesired texture. (I did not wash my beet greens well tonight.) Chop the greens roughly into one-inch squares, and stir into rice-and-lentils. Cook, covered, a few more minutes, until greens have turned a brilliant green and reduced slightly in volume.

Remove from heat, and salt-and-pepper to taste. I like lots of salt (we don't salt out vegetable broth, preferring to salt the final product), but I'm not a particular fan of pepper. Toss in some high-quality extra-virgin olive oil — we have been using the delicious and fruity "Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva" by Oleificio Chianti (based in Moticchiello di Pienza, Siena), the same as is used at Chez Panisse (where my roommates' cousin works).


Peter said...

Hi Theo, where do you get the Oleificio Chianti olive oil? I am a fan of Chez Panisse and their cookbooks and would like to try using this olive oil. However, I can't seem to find it.

Theo said...

It's available at The Cheeseboard. I haven't seen it elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Theo, your blog rocks! I will make your lentils next. With huge love I must tell you that beets are the greens that you are referring to, as a vegetarian, I suppose you won't beat your greens. Please take this with as many huge grains of salt that I, too, will put in the lentils. xoxo

Theo said...

@Anonymous: Oops about the spelling; I fixed the title.