The ultra-versatile combination of rice and lentils can be served as a protein-rich side dish or an easy entrée. Green French lentils, which hold their shape when cooked, will give the dish a firmer texture, while softer red lentils will give it a creamier, dal-like consistency.
- 1 medium bulb garlic
- 1 lb. sliced button or cremini mushrooms (6 cups)
- 3 Tbs. prepared balsamic vinaigrette, divided
- 1 cup green French or Puy lentils or red lentils
- 2 cups cooked brown rice, or wild rice blend
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Slice top off garlic bulb to expose cloves, and discard top. Place bulb on small square of foil and pour 1 Tbs. water over it. Fold up corners of foil to seal. Roast garlic in oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until soft when gently squeezed.
- Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss sliced mushrooms with 1 Tbs. balsamic vinaigrette in large bowl, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Spread on prepared baking sheet in single layer. Roast mushrooms 20 to 30 minutes in oven with garlic, or until tender and browned, stirring halfway through.
- Meanwhile, bring lentils and 21⁄2 cups water to boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes for green lentils, 10 to 15 minutes for red lentils, or until tender. Drain, and transfer to medium bowl. Stir in 1 Tbs. balsamic vinaigrette. Cover and keep warm.
- Cool garlic until easy to handle. Squeeze out roasted garlic into small bowl and discard skins. Mash garlic with fork until smooth. Fold mashed roasted garlic into lentils. Stir in mushrooms, hot rice, and remaining 1 Tbs. balsamic vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
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