Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Best Blog Tips

Don’t forget to comment on all the posts if you want to win a copy of Big Vegan. If you are a twitter user, you can also tweet why you go vegan with the hashtag #bigvegan by midnight November 4 to enter to win a copy.

It's the 2nd Big Vegan (by Robin Asbell) Potluck day and I chose to make the Armenian Red Lentil-Apricot Stew with Sesame Rice.  I love Armenian cooking and this sounded like a lovely blend of sweet and savory.  The ingredients for the stew are so colorful!

As Robin mentions in the book, all you need to make this a whole meal is a salad. A bonus is that it's a very easy meal to prepare-- a little chopping, rinsing the lentils, measuring out the spices and that's it, really!

After you get the stew simmering, you can start on the rice:

  Chopping the shallots.

Sauteing the shallots, sesame seeds, and rice kernels before adding the liquid.

My husband and a friend shared this together and were all impressed by the combination of the rice bathed in mild humus flavors (tahini and lemon juice, in addition to the toasted sesame seeds) with the hearty, flavorful stew.  We particularly liked the addition of the dried apricots, which added a real zing to the dish, already redolent of sweet and hot spices and the fragrance of mint. It is actually a perfect autumn meal!

Serves 6
Red lentils simmer into a creamy stew, piqued with bits of tangy apricot and tender eggplant. The warming spices make it even more delicious, perfect over the sesame-fortified brown rice.

1 cup/250 g red lentils, rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped
14 oz/400 g canned/tinned diced tomatoes
1 small Japanese eggplant/aubergine, peeled and diced
½ cup/85 g dried apricot, chopped
2 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 cup/30 g chopped fresh parsley
½ cup/15 g fresh mint, chopped
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 large shallots, chopped
¼ cup/35 g sesame seeds
1 ½ cups/320 g long-grain brown rice
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. In a 4-qt/3.8-L pot, combine 1 qt/960 ml water, the lentils, and onion. Bring them to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Add the eggplant/aubergine, tomatoes, and apricots and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes.

3. When the lentils are falling-apart tender and the vegetables are also tender, add the paprika, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne and simmer for another 5 minutes to marry the flavors to bring the flavors together. Add the parsley and mint just before serving. Keep the stew warm while cooking the rice.

1. To make the rice: In a 2-qt/2-L pot over medium heat, sauté the shallots in the oil . When the shallots are clear and soft, add the sesame seeds and sauté for 5 minutes.

2. Add 3 cups/720 ml water, the rice, and salt. Bring them to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover. Check after 35 minutes. When all the water has been absorbed, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, to finish steaming the rice, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. In a small cup, stir together the tahini and lemon juice, then fold them into the rice. Serve the rice hot with a ladleful of stew on top.

Robin Asbell http://robincooksveg.wordpress.com/
Author of Big Vegan (Chronicle Books, Fall 2011)

Click here to follow Big Vegan's virtual potluck and get more of Robin's recipes.
To learn more about Big Vegan, check out Robin Asbell's YouTube video.

UPDATE:  Here are all of the Potluck Posts:

Baguette French Toast Stuffed with “Cream Cheese” and Topped with Apples
Leinana Two Moons
Matcha Scones with Golden Raisins
Caron Golden
Maple Barley Granola with Pecans
Robin Asbell


Mango-Jícama Salad with Lime Dressing and Pepitas    
Susan Russo

Armenian Red Lentil Stew with Sesame Brown Rice
Bryanna Clark Grogan

Korean Miso-Tofu Soup
Nancie McDermott

Squash Quesadillas with Cranberry-Jícama Salsa
Jill Nussinow

DAY 3:

Green and Red Spaghetti
Sandra Gutierrez

Bengali Curry of Cauliflower and Kidney Beans
Robin Robertson

Spanish Chickpea Fritters
Julie Hasson

New Potato Rendang with Green Beans
Pat Tanumihardja

Sundried Tomato-Kale Calzones AND
Pumpkin Cherry Bundt Cake
Leinana Two Moons

Peanut Butter Tart with “Ganache”
Tara Desmond

Please read, comment, and take a moment to scroll through these wonderful blogs. Every one of these writers has great articles, recipes, and books that might just make you a regular reader.

Don’t forget to comment on all the posts if you want to win a copy of Big Vegan. If you are a twitter user, you can also tweet why you go vegan with the hashtag #bigvegan by midnight November 4 to enter to win a copy.



VegAn Vietnam said...

Thanks for this recipe, Bryanna!
The stew looks very hearty and flavorful.
VegAn Grace

Judith said...

This sounds delish! I'd like to make it tonight but need to substitute the eggplant. Do you think cauliflower would work?

Genevieve said...

I love the combination of flavours in this recipe. I always like to get new ideas for ways to include both apricots and tahini in my meals - two ingredients I really like but it can be hard to find good recipes for them! I would love to get a copy of this cookbook too!

Bev said...

I made it last night and had leftovers tonight....I found the mint had mellowed overnight into an even more delicious combination of flavors

Anonymous said...

Wow, this looks great!


Rosemary said...

I love red lentils, and I love dried apricots! I think I should try this.

moonsword said...

I love red lentils! Thank you for sharing the recipe and your yummy photos! Cheers!