Sunday, 24 February 2013

Lentils in Tomato & Polenta

Since getting my pressure cooker I've been making more legume dishes for weekday dinners because I can cook them up much more quickly than on the stove top or oven. There are a ton of great recipes at Hip Pressure Cooking's blog which have so far all turned out perfectly, and their lentil recipe is no exception!

This recipe has led me to discover that my kids actually like lentils! Go figure. I had assumed the kids wouldn't like them so never bothered to try. And because it's cooked efficiently, the flavors stay fresh and bright. Polenta is a side dish loved by all of us that goes really well with the lentils. I serve it warm for dinner, and then I let the leftover polenta set in a parchment paper-lined pan. 

After dinner, I assemble the leftovers into square lunch containers, layered lasagna-style. I put some lentils into my container, followed by a layer of sliced polenta, and repeat until I have a good serving size, ending with lentils so that the polenta doesn't dry up. It's great either cold or microwaved.

Lentils in Tomatoes --Pressure Cooker Recipe

  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped 
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 14.5oz can of chopped tomatoes (~1.8 cups or 430ml)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 heaping cup of green lentils
  • 2 cups water
  1. Preheat the pressure cooker, add a splash of oil, and saute the onion, celery and green pepper.
  2. When the veggies are softened, stir in the can of tomato, curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stir in the lentils and water.
  4. Close and lock the lid, cook for about 15 minutes once pressure is reached. Time will vary depending on the lentils, apparently smaller lentils take longer to cook, but mine are always ready in about 15 minutes and they're what I'd consider standard sized green lentils (if there's such a thing!).
  5. When the time is up, use the natural release method to open the pot which takes about 10 minutes. (Turn off the electric pot, or remove the stove-top pot from the heat).

  • ~4 cups chicken broth (this will vary depending on the coarseness of your cornmeal)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt (if using low/no sodium broth)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • a handful of fresh grated Parmesan, Romano, or other similar cheese.
  1. Bring the broth to a boil.
  2. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, reduce heat to low.
  3. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened and the cornmeal is tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat, add butter and cheese, and stir until melted. 

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