Wednesday, August 29, 2012

the ugliest dinner

One of my favorite things about living on the coast is the crazy weather. Hurricane Isaac has brought rain and clouds and majorly cooled off the island. The new surge of cooler weather of course had me immediately thinking of fall. I have been outside every moment that it's not pouring rain and have been finally wearing jeans! It really has been a treat. With all this reminiscing of fall I decided I wanted to make a fall dish for dinner. Nice and cozy for a rainy evening! 

This dish was nothing short of delicious but no where close to beautiful. It isn't one I would make to impress guests with presentation but the taste is perfect. It was as simple as chopping ingredients and throwing them in the pot so I will no doubt be making it again throughout the fall. 

Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yields 8 to 10 side-dish servings; 6 main-course servings

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded if desired, then minced
4 cups vegetable broth as needed
2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish

1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeno. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.

2. Add broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. If it seems dry add an additional 1 cup vegetable broth or water. Stir in chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 20 minutes.

3. Remove bay leaf and just before serving stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into serving dish and garnish with scallions.

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