Monday, March 26, 2012

Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew with Garbanzo Beans

Whenever I see a big, beautiful bunch of greens, they call out to me. What I hear is something along the lines of: Buy me. We're gorgeous and good for you. Eat us and you'll feel great. But I wish they would say something like: Run away! You hate bitter greens. Buy broccoli before it's too late. Obviously this bunch of Swiss chard didn't warn me and ended up in the cart. So I surrounded the chard with a bunch of other stuff I like, so I wouldn't mind the bitterness. It was a delicious plan. Just like when you invite over some buffers so you don't have to be alone with someone you can't stand. Now you know how to handle me when I get old and bitter (the next phase after middle-aged and sarcastic).

Makes 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
6 cups (48 oz.) vegetable broth or chicken broth
2 bunches Swiss chard, tough stalks removed and coarsely chopped (about 13-15 cups)
1 lb. red lentils (about 2 1/4 cups)
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
plain yogurt (optional)

1.      Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until golden, about 13 minutes.
2.      Mix in garlic, curry, garam masala, and cayenne; stir for 30 seconds. Stir in the chard and cook until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.
3.      Add the broth, increase the heat and bring to boil. Add lentils and garbanzos; reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring twice, about 10 minutes.
4.      Divide stew among bowls. Top with yogurt if desired.

slightly adapted from Bon Appétit, December 2005
beautiful red swiss chard

I actually do like bitter greens, just not in a big pile on their
own (for me, they take on more of a supporting actor role).
onions in the pot
onions golden
adding the garlic and spices
adding the chard
chard wilting
adding vegetable broth
adding lentils and garbanzos
served with yogurt

If you're wondering why the color is so different from
the pot to the bowl, it's just the lighting in my kitchen.
It's dark by my stove, but the kitchen table is bright
and sunny, right next to glass sliding doors.

I don't think I bothered to mention this
before, but this stew is really good!

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