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Spicy Rice with Baby Lentils and Candied Onions

Rice and beans are a classic combination that is delicious and provides us with a complete protein. In this Mediterranean dish, baby lentils mix with brown basmati rice to create an aromatic side dish that will win you rave reviews.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 sweet onions, thin half moon slices
soy sauce
1-inch piece kombu
1/2 cup dried luPuy or black lentils, rinsed well
2 3/4 cups spring or filtered water
1 bay leaf
2 whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed well
pinch sea salt
small handful fresh flatleaf parsley, minced, for garnish

Heat oil in a skillet and saute onions, with a splash of soy sauce, until quite limp and lightly browned, 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. While onions cook, place kombu on the bottom of a heavy pot. Top with lentils and add 1 1⁄2 cups water. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Season to taste with soy sauce and simmer 5-7 minutes more, allowing any remaining liquid to be absorbed into the beans. 

To cook the rice, bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a pressure cooker, with bay leaf, allspice and cinnamon stick. Add rice, salt, seal lid and bring to full pressure. Reduce heat to low, place pot over a flame deflector and cook for 25 minutes. Turn of heat and allow pot to stand, undisturbed, for another 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf, allspice and cinnamon from the rice and transfer to a serving bowl. 

To serve, combine lentils with candied onions. Mound rice in the center of a serving platter and surround with lentils. Serve garnished with parsley.

Makes 4-6 servings.  


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