Lentils and Kale with Spring Vegetables on a Bed of Cauliflower White Bean Puree
I love lentils. Soft and delicate orange lentils. Hearty and forthright green French lentils. Nutty and stable black lentils. I’m not a lentil snob; I just love them all. So, when I got a text from California friend, Debbie, telling me about a lentil dish she had that was outstanding, I knew this had to go into my recipe rotation….and soon!
Using any Spring vegetables you like, and you have a creamy and filling dish that’s so luxurious.
Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
- 1 cup French lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb. (two 8 oz. containers) white or crimini mushrooms, chopped (around 2.5 cups)
- 3 large stalks of kale, stripped and chopped
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine (optional and may sub balsamic vinegar)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (I use vegetarian Worcestershire sauce to keep this vegetarian/vegan)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Salt and pepper
Spring Vegetable Options
- 8-12 baby carrots with tops, not the packaged ones
- 2 cups French beans
- 2 cups snap or snow peas
- 2 cups asparagus, sliced
- Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lentils and bay leaves, then reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer uncovered for about 20-30 minutes, or until they’re cooked through and water is absorbed. At the 15 minute mark, stir in the chopped kale to soften. Set pan aside when done.
- Meanwhile, heat another large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, and dry seasonings and stir, cooking for around 5-7 minutes. Stir often and add small amounts of liquid to keep it from sticking.
- Add tomato paste, stir to coat, and let cook for another minute. Add red wine (or vinegar) and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth and lower heat to simmer, adding the lentils, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves, stir in Worcestershire sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- While your lentil stew simmers, prepare the cauliflower bean puree. Add cauliflower and garlic to a steamer basket and steam over boiling water, covered, for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer cauliflower to a food processor, add white beans, and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Now, add more water to your pan with the steamer basket and bring to a boil again. Baby carrots and asparagus pieces take about 7-8 minutes, French beans 6 minutes, snap or snow peas no more than 5 minutes, so coordinate the steaming time according to your choice of vegetables. You want the beautiful Spring vegetables to remain ‘al dente’ with a slight crunch.
- Serve lentil stew warm over pureed cauliflower, topped with your chosen Spring vegetables, perfectly cooked! Garnish with chopped parsley or chives and a squeeze of lemon, if desired. Enjoy!