Lentil & Mushroom "Tagine"

Not much that’s “tagine” ish about this, really, except that we ate it over couscous.  The hot sauce should have been harissa, but was sriracha instead (it’s what I keep on hand).  The original recipe called for this to go in a dutch oven, I made it in the slow cooker instead.

In the food processor, make a mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) and pulse until chopped fine (not pureed).  Also chop a couple of red bell peppers, 16 oz button or cremini mushrooms, and a few cloves of garlic.  Add to the slow cooker pot along with 16 oz additional sliced assorted wild mushrooms (I buy mine presliced).  Spicing: 2 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp fennel seed, salt/pepper.  Also add 1.5 cups of water, 2 cups dried lentils, 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes.  Slow cook on high 3-4 hours or until lentils are tender.  In the last hour of cooking, add 3 sliced red/yellow/orange bell peppers.

Just before serving, stir in 1 lb fresh baby spinach and 1 tbsp grated lemon zest.  Serve over couscous with a spritz of hot sauce.

I was apprehensive about this dish when I tasted it halfway through cooking, but it actually turned out pretty well.  To be honest, it was a little too healthy for my taste.  I generally like my lentils with a little more bacon.  (ALL the recipes in this book need more salt than is called for.  It’s so much easier to eat large amounts of vegetables when they’re properly seasoned!)

I was a flake yesterday and did not take a picture of this.

Dylan Report: He didn’t hate it, didn’t love it.  I was very proud of him for being willing to try such an unfamiliar food.  And go figure – he preferred the stuff off Mommy’s plate with the hot sauce in it to his own mild version.


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