Say happy new year with lentils!

I’ve been reading up on foods that are considered lucky eating for New Year’s Eve. Seems that legumes and greens are consumed throughout the world in various guises. Fascinating! Green french lentils are deemed especially lucky in many countries. As it happens, french lentils and greens are among my favorite foods!! Fancy that! And round foods are also seen as fortuitous, for a variety of reasons. I happened to have a big box of large white mushrooms, so I decided to stuff them with a mixture of french lentils, greens, and cheese. And I made a sauce with the lentil-cooking broth and the leftover lentils. Yummy!

This morning we had pancakes in the shape of a circle, because circular foods are universally considered serendipitous as well.

And here’s Grace Cathedral Hill, a beautiful song by the Decemberists. It’s about New Year’s Day, and it’s a lovely story of a day when nothing in particular happens, but everything feels significant. I love those days! And one of my favorite parts (of course it’s food-related) is when they’re both a little hungry so they go to buy a hot dog. It’s not the best meal you ever had, but you remember it, and it becomes important, and it fills you up when you need it.

About 20 oz of large white mushrooms (I think they might be called “stuffing mushrooms”) You want enough to fit in a single layer in your roasting pan
1 clove garlic, mashed or finely chopped
3 cups spinach, washed and finely chopped
1 batch french lentils (save the broth)
1 cup mozzarella, cut into tiny cubes.
Rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, basil

Olive oil & Balsamic

Take the stems out of the mushrooms. Cut the stems up very finely. Put the whole mushrooms in a single layer in a roasting pan. Pour a little olive oil and balsamic into each cavity, and crumble some fresh rosemary in each one. Let it sit while you preheat the oven to 450.

Roast the mushrooms for about half an hour, till they’re caramelized – nicely browned, crispy on the outside and still juicy on the inside. Turn them over every now and again to make sure both sides get browned.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and herbs, then add the mushroom stems. Cook till they’re brown and crispy. Then add the spinach, and cook till it’s wilted. Put this mixture into a bowl with about 2 cups of cooked lentils and the mozzarella cheese.

Put a big spoonful of filling in each cooked mushroom. Add a small slice of mozzarella to the top of each, and put them back in the oven till the cheese is melted and bubbly – about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile – Warm 2 T of butter in a frying pan. Add 2 T. of flour and 2 t. of tomato paste. Whisk it together and cook for several minutes. Then add 2 cups of lentil broth. Cook till it’s reduced and thickened, then add whatever mixed filling you couldn’t fit into the mushrooms. Mix well, add more broth if you want it thinner, and cook for 15 to twenty minutes, till it’s thickened and warmed through. Serve with the mushrooms!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s