And You Thought Vegetarian Dishes were Boring?

It’s Cookbook Club time again and this time I am making a recipe from two of my favorite bloggers/cookbook writers from The Kitchn Cookbook. It is an easy to follow cookbook with great every day recipes. The recipe I selected is for an adaptation of Mujaddara, which is a popular dish in the Middle East, and is generally made using brown or green lentils and rice, that is seasoned with cumin. It is generally topped with fried onions and is served with yogurt, among other vegetables, either hot or cold. This version from The Kitchn, is made with cauliflower, roasted red peppers and a cucumber yogurt sauce. 

The spices used in this recipe create an amazing aroma in the kitchen that are sure to arouse your senses! A mixture of cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon and ground sumac create a dish with a depth of flavor that is extremely enticing. The cool cucumber yogurt sauce is a wonderful accompaniment and adds a touch of moisture to the dish.

As delicious as it is the day you make it, this dish is also wonderful as leftovers. Although it stands well on it’s own as a Vegetarian entree, it could also be combined with a roasted chicken beautifully!

Brown Basmati Rice, Lentils & Cauliflower with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, sliced thin in half moons
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup dried green lentils
  • 1/2 cup brown basmati rice
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 2 galric cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped + more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Yogurt Sauce
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Heat a minimum 5 quart pot and melt the butter. When it foams up, add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook stirring occasionally over medium heat until the onions are soft and pale brown, about 15 minutes.
  2. When the onions are done cooking, stir in the rice and lentils and add the broth. Bring the pot to a boil, cover the dish with a lid and place the covered pot in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until the rice ad lentils are tender and have absorbed the liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, toss the cauliflower, red peppers, garlic and parsley in a large bowl. Stir in the vinegar, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of fresh pepper.
  4. Remove the pot from the oven and stir in the cumin, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh pepper. Add additional salt to taste. Spread the cauliflower mixture over the rice/lentils and return the pot to the oven for about 25 minutes or until the cauliflower is browned and crisp-tender.
  5. Yogurt Sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice & zest, sumac, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Set the sauce aside to let the flavors meld.
  6. Serve the rice mixture in bowls topped with the yogurt sauce. Garnish with parsley.

(click here) for printable recipe

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