Sunday, July 8, 2012

Recipe: Lentil Stuffed Mushrooms

I've gotten back on a lentil kick recently, though some popular opinions assert that I never got off of it... but no matter.  I've talked about them a few times (here, here, and here) but this recipe might just take the proverbial cake.  The earthiness of the lentils pairs very nicely with the mushrooms, the ingredients stewed with the lentils add some extra nutrition and color, and the lentils themselves could be prepared several days ahead.  I made a pretty big batch of the lentils here, but if you were only looking to make a few mushrooms the recipe could easily be halved.  I got most of my ingredients at our local ALDI.  If you have one check it out, I've been very surprised by both the prices and the quality of the stuff they have.

You might also notice after reading the recipe that I cook the lentils for a long time, but I have a reason....I sort of like when they form a mush, or I suppose paste sounds better.  After it cools and goes in the fridge it can be spread on bread, dipped with crackers, and used in all sorts of ways (one of which is being stuffed into mushrooms, so it works out pretty well).  With the ease of prep after the lentils are cooked this would be a great item to take to parties, or reduce the recipe and have with a salad for an easy summer or fall dinner.

For the Lentils:

1 red onion diced
2 carrots shredded 
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic finely diced

4 roma tomatoes diced
6 cups water, stock, or water with bouillon
2 cups split red lentils (~0.9lbs)
Large handful baby spinach, finely chopped
Turmeric (optional)

In a large pot saute the diced onion and carrot until just soft, add the garlic and continue sauteing until golden.  Add a dash of salt, pepper, and tumeric.  Add in the tomatoes and continue cooking until they've lost their color slightly.  Add the water or stock and bring to a boil. Add in the two cups of lentils and cook for 30 minutes with the lid vented for steam or until very soft. Stir occasionally.  Be careful as they cook as they can occasionally start to splatter, and add more water a half cup at a time if they appear to be drying out too much.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days.

For the stuffed mushrooms:
Lentil Mixture
Number of mushrooms desired (I used baby portabellas)
Sriracha or hot sauce (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400.  Clean any dirt off of the mushrooms with a damp paper towel.  Carefully remove the mushroom stems making sure not to damage the side walls of the mushrooms.  Using a spoon carefully hollow out some of the gill area under the mushroom cap to make room for the lentils.  Spoon in the lentil mixture into the mushroom cap, filling the cavity.  Add a few drops of sriracha on the top if desired.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft.


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