Thursday, March 19

Crispy Lentils & Lamb

A one-pot meal full of Mediterranean spices

Bon Appetit Spicy Lentils and Lamb with Herbs

The worst part about going on vacation is the first day back at work. We got back from a trip to Cancun on Sunday night, only to get up early and spend a long Monday at work weeding through a massive email inbox. I really wanted to make something quick and easy for dinner that night to get back into a routine and detox a bit from the five days of all-you-can-drink-and-eat. This lamb and lentil dish comes from the latest issue of Bon Appetit and only requires one pan and about thirty minutes of time. The lean lamb and lentils are a great source of protein, while the cold cucumber and green herbs add freshness and crunch. There's a great balance between hot and cold, spice and richness, acid and fat. The lamb and spices make the whole house smell good and was a great way to end a long day.

Related Recipes:
- Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki and Feta
- Lentil "Meatballs" with Lemon Basil Pesto
- Lamb & Beef Kofta with Yogurt Sauce

Crispy Lentils & Lamb:
- 1 c. brown or green lentils
- 1/2 lb. ground lamb
- 2 Persian cucumbers, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 c. plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 c. fresh parsley or cilantro or both, roughly chopped
- 2-3 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 tsp. red chile flakes
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- lemon wedges, for garnish

  • Add the lentils and 4 c. water to a pot, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.*
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. canola oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  • Shape the lamb into a large patty, about 1/4" thick, and season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the lamb for 4-5 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the patty has formed a crispy brown crust. If there's a lot of fat in the pan, drain some off and reserve it.
  • Using a spatula, break the patty into bite-size pieces and add in the garlic, red chile flakes, and cumin seeds.
  • Cook, stirring often, until the lamb is no longer pink. Transfer the lamb mixture to a plate.
  • Add reserved fat or 2 tbsp. canola oil to the skillet and add the cooked lentils and a big pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cook the lentils, stirring once or twice, until they start to get crispy and brown.
  • Add the lamb back in and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and stir in the cucumbers and herbs. Check for seasoning.
  • To serve, divide the yogurt among four plates and then spoon the lamb and lentils on top. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.

Serves four
*Cooked lentils can be cooked, cooled, and kept in the fridge for several days.