Since my family loves lentils, I keep a few cans of organic canned lentils on hand to use when we want a meal with this nourishing legume in a hurry. If you prefer to cook your own, the dish will also come together in a snap if you have them cooked ahead of time. To make this dish a little fancier, try using beluga lentils. There diminutive, gleaming black lentils contrast attractively with the greens and dried tomatoes. Green or brown lentils will taste just as good, though they’re not as pretty. This is great served with Cauliflower Rice Pilaf, Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Nuts, or another grain dish, plus a simple salad.
Serves: 4 to 6 as a side dish
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
- 6 to 8 ounces baby spinach, rinsed
- Two 15-ounce cans lentils, drained and
rinsed (try using beluga lentils if available)
- 1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (with a little of their oil, if using oil-packed_
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup minced fresh dill, cilantro, or parsley, or more to taste, optional
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper, and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
Add the spinach and cover the pat; Cook until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the spinach is evenly distributed with the lentils. Cook just until the mixture is well heated, then serve.
Variation: Replace all or part of the spinach with baby arugula.