Saturday, April 05, 2014


I love street food of all kinds and especially things that act on me like the J. Peterman catalog does, transporting me in my imagination to other lands. I also love lentils. Poor Jeannene is not at all fond of them, so this traditional Egyptian street food was not a hit with her, but I thought it was wonderful! It makes a good breakfast the next morning, too. I served this with a plain green salad and oranges, but I think it would be great with cucumber slices and tzatziki or with fattoush, too.

3 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. butter
2 onions, chopped
1 c. brown lentils
3/4 c. long-grain white rice (I like jasmine rice for just about everything. Brown rice would probably be fantastic, as well)
1 tbsp. cumin
Salt, to taste
2 1/2 c. chicken stock (sub veggie stock & use non-dairy margarine or additional oil in place of butter for a great vegan dish)
1 c. ditalini or other small pasta
1-2 tbsp. harissa
1 bunch parsley, chopped

Heat oil and butter on medium-high heat. Cook onions until they start to brown, about 4 minutes. Add lentils and rice. Cook, stirring, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and 1 tbsp. salt. Cook a minute or two, then add stock. Turn down heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed and mixture is starting to crackle & toast on the bottom, about 1/2 hour. Cook pasta & drain. Heat olive oil. Add pasta & cook until it starts to crisp & brown, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat & stir in harissa and a pinch of salt. Mix into lentil/rice mixture. Add parsley & serve hot. Serves 6-8.

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