Monday, 18 February 2008

Wilted Kale with Garlic, Puy Lentils and Thyme

One of the 2008 new year's resolutions in the A&N household was to eat less meat. Frankly, I don't subscribe to new year's resolutions so I wonder in what moment of mental unclarity this declaration came about, but it's firmly out there and we're trying to heed it. We've set ourselves the goal of eating 3 vegetarian dinners a week, which has been more successful some weeks and less so others. Since we are so used to being raging carnivores, I'm finding it's taking me much more time to plan recipes and stock up on ingredients, rather than just defaulting to a meat-and-two-veg position.

A birthday or two ago I received Dennis Cotter's Paradiso Seasons, a great veggie cook book from a well-respected vegetarian chef. His recipes are grouped
seasonally so you can get the best of what's currently on offer, and I've been referring to him a lot lately. Granted, this isn't the sexiest season to be vegetarian ('OOoh, cabbage AGAIN!') and since neither of us eat heavy cheeses or creams our choices are limited to an almost vegan diet. Meaning that if we are going to stick to this 3/7ths vegetarianism, we'd better get used to proclaiming "OOoh, cabbage!'.

This week's cabbage moment comes in the form of wilted kale with puy lentils, thyme, and tomatoes. It's a very easy recipe to make, and with parmegian c
heese grated on top, it edged its way to being a stew with lovely salty tomatoey stock. We plumped up the quantities of everything listed so that we could have this as a main course with enough for leftovers (though I've listed the original recipe, below). The problem, in Mr A&N's eyes, was that this was a vegetarian meal that smacked of old-school, sandal-wearing, dubiously-cleansed vegetarians. So we cracked and added some bacon to the mix. We're still getting the hang of this thing.

Wilted kale with garlic, puy lentils, and thyme
From Dennis Cotter's Paradiso Seasons

2 Tbs puy lentils
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 large handfuls kale, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, diced (note: we used a tin of tomatoes)
2 small sprigs of thyme, leaves only
salt and pepper to season

  1. Boil the lentils in plenty of boiled water until just tender (about 12 minutes)
  2. heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a wide pan and cook the onion for one minute over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic and kale, increase the heat and cook for two minutes until the kale hs wilted and turned a dark glossy green.
  4. Add the tomatoes to the pan with the cooked lentils and the thyme.
  5. Continue cooking, stirring often and adding a splash of water occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft and the kale is tender.
  6. Add another tablespoon of olive oil at the end, along with salt and pepper to season.


Cynthia said...

So how was it? did you and Mr A & N enjoy it?

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and helping me to discover yours. I look forward to seeing you around.

Emiline said...


Well, I wonder if it's been cheaper for you to eat vegetarian three nights a week instead of eating meat. You would think so, but that's not necessarily true.

Have you had vegetarian tacos? I love those. This looks good too, though.

robin from 'caviar and codfish' said...

I love the comforting look of this dish. It feels so homey!

Toni said...

Lentils are a great way to enter the world of vegetarian eating. I'd probably have added something like garbanzos to this, to give my teeth something to sink into. And maybe some carrots.

But I'll bet the bacon took care of the whole thing! It always does, doesn't it?

Sophie said...

I've heard about Dennis quite a bit recently - I must check his books out...

The recipe sounds lovely, especially well timed as I've got a big bag of purple kale I was wondering what to do with

(we've doing the eat less meat thing too - twice a week, including any lunches)

Lis said...

Bacon is not meat! It's above meat.. it's a food group all of it's own. Therefore, you did nothing wrong.

Eat on Bacon fans.. eat on.


Annemarie said...

Hi Cynthia - We really enjoyed it, though we were both conscious that we could have been having a meatier dinner. :)

Hi Emiline - Yes, saving money is certainly part of the plan. I think veg Mexican food is a great option and doesn't make me miss meat too much.

Hi Robin - Yes, it definitely was a good, wintertime, slurpy warming dinner.

Hi Toni - I do love garbanzo beans - they have almost as many magical uses as bacon. :)

Hi Sophie - Will have to look out for what meat-free meals you're making, and try to get inspiration! Dennis Cotter is definitely great to have on had to make your veggie meals more interesting.

Hi Lis - Tee hee. You are remain the wisest woman I know. :)