In which a vegetable redeems itself and a pulse makes a remarkably good showing
January 10th, 2010
On the suggestion of a friend who’s a cooking whiz, I gave the humble cauliflower a second chance in a soup last night. And darned if it wasn’t pretty tasty. When cooked together with carrots, potatoes and onions, then pureed and creamed and cheesed, the stuff’s not half bad!
My next bold food move was lentils. I’m just not a lentil person. I’ve tried them many times over the years in various forms and there’s something about the texture and flavor that don’t sit well. I think they taste sort of dusty in a way that lingers in your mouth.
But they’re good for you and cheap and I found a promising looking recipe in my new Mennonite cookbook so I gave it a whirl.
The recipe in a nutshell involves lentils, onion, garlic, ground beef, rice and some spices (including cumin) all mulled together. I opted for red lentils, the more delicate cousin of the well-known and hearty brown/green lentils. The result was that they cooked down to basically mush and you didn’t even know they were there. They just added a richness to the meal, which ended up having the consistency of a thick stew.
I used venison in lieu of beef and if I do it again I won’t make that substitution. My only complaint about the recipe was that it tasted a bit too wild. Either turkey or beef would be fantastic, though.
I think my next food to tackle is going to be the much maligned Brussels sprout.