Every culture has their version of legumes and grains. In my family, we have Mujaddara, a gently cooked lentil and caramelized onion dish. I've updated this classic dish by making good use of my farmer's market vegetables. Kale and tomatoes add color, flavor and nutrition to an already satisfying side. Perfect served warm as an accompaniment to grilled steak or fish, I personally love it best cold with a big scoop of plain yogurt. —Anne
Before you begin, be sure to pick over your lentils carefully; as they’re a natural product, the occasional tiny pebble or bit of organic matter can be in the bag, so just give them a once-over and thorough rinse.
Peel garlic and onion, trimming ends and dicing both finely. Clean kale thoroughly and remove the tough inner ribs. Chop kale into 1″ pieces. Clean tomatoes and halve.
In a large, deep stockpot, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sprinkling liberally with salt and pepper. Saute until lightly golden. Mix in kale and tomatoes, toss until wilted. Stir in cumin and paprika.
Next stir in lentils and rice, mixing together until rice is translucent, only about 3-5 minutes.
Slowly add chicken broth (lentils and rice should be covered; if not, add more liquid). Cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Cook covered until tender, about 50 minutes. All liquid should be absorbed, if not, allow to cook longer (if rice sticks, ensure that there is enough liquid and that the heat is set to simmer).
Taste here, add salt and pepper as needed.
Serves 8 as a side dish (or makes delicious leftovers)
Topping suggestions: Grilled fish or lamb. Plain yogurt, crispy fried onions or fresh tomatoes & cucumbers drizzled with oil.