Okay, so here is the first beyond-habitual dish I made with some of the apples I recently got. Since my tummy is nice these days, I thought legumes would be in order once again (and I was right – no tummy ache! ), and I opted for beluga lentils because they look so funny and I never cooked them before. These little black lentils almost look like caviar, and this is why they are called that way. (I am happy they do not taste like caviar. ) However, other lentils will work as well.
~ looks a little muddy, but this was a 100 % success ~
To make it more autumn-like, I added leek and winter squash. I used hokkaido squash which is the kind that is sold at the food stores in autumn and winter over here. It is very yummy and quite starchy, almost like sweet potato, and one of my favorite vegetables. The apples then contribute a nice crunch and freshness.
When I thought about the spices – to keep it autumn-style, it was clear that warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg had to go into it – I suddenly spotted the box with cocoa powder on my kitchen shelf, and I knew I had to give it a try. I now officially declare cocoa powder a new member of the favorite-spices family.
AUTUMN-STYLE BELUGA LENTILS
butter or oil
1 big stalk of leek, cut into thin slices
400 g (14) winter squash, seeds removed and cut into pieces
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and cut into small cubes
2 cups readily cooked or canned beluga lentils (from 125 g raw lentils)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
1 pinch of ground cloves
2 apples, seeds removed and cut into pieces
Prepare the lentils by soaking them for a couple of hours, then draining and rinsing them thoroughly, setting them up with fresh water, and cooking them for about 40 minutes. Or use canned lentils you drain and rinse well.
In a large pot, heat some fat and sauté leek, pumpkin, and bell pepper. Cook covered on low to medium heat for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft (eventually add a little bit of water). Add the lentils and season with salt, pepper, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix everything well. Directly before serving, add the fresh apples, then serve and enjoy.