25 September 2011

Tomato-Radish Lentil 'lenta

In a shocking turn of events, the weather turned cold for the weekend. The (relative) heat of last week made cooking difficult, as did a rather packed schedule. I managed a round of bagels, on which the yeast did not activate. To follow that up, I cooked a dinner of which none of my photographs turned out. Cell phone camera, combined with low light, strikes again. But, I'll still provide the recipe because it was highly edible and a great foil for the cold weather. The dish was partially influenced by a brunch item at Gather - the lentil and polenta. It was a great breakfast food that I wanted to fashion as a dinner. I mostly failed, because I don't season things enough. More following of recipes may be in my future. So, yes, the flavor could stand to be improved but everything else about the dish was good. Have at it (or don't).
Lentil 'lenta
Serves 2
1 standard size can of lentils or lentil soup
2/3 cup dry polenta
2 cups water
bunch of radishes (15 or so)
2 flavorful tomatoes
1 shallot
1 tbsp olive oil
spices other than what I used (cumin, dill, and cayenne) or in larger quantities
(optionally) butter or cheese

So, lots of things going on at once with this recipe. Take 5 radishes and dice them, reserve a single radish, then slice the rest in half. Toss the halved radishes in the olive oil and salt, then place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Once they are in the oven, dice the shallot and sautee it over medium until it has yellowed and lost some flavor. Cut the tomatoes into 6-8 slices each. Put one of them, as well as the diced radish, in with the shallot. Place the other tomato in a pot with the water and bring to boil while making sure the pan doesn't burn. You can, if you want, add some butter or cheese to the pot of water.

Once the water is boiling, add the polenta, reduce heat, and stir. Add the can of lentils to the frying pan, season it, then alternate between stirring the polenta and lentil mixture. You are aiming for a runny polenta mixture, which takes 5-10 minutes of cooking. This should be timed for the radishes coming out of the oven. Serve in a bowl with polenta put in first, the lentil mixture spooned into the center, and top with the baked radish. Slice the single, reserved radish for garnish.

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