Brown rice and lentils make a lovely pairing especially if you want a vegetarian protein. I made this dish as a side with meat when I had vegetarian friends in the mix. I also like the leftovers straight from the fridge for lunch. Dried cherries and figs, plumped with vinegar and sauteed onions add a tanginess which compliments the earthy flavors of lentils and rice, while orange segments brighten it.
This dish can be served warm or cold.
BROWN RICE AND LENTILS WITH DRIED FIGS AND CHERRIES
1 cup brown rice
1 cup lentils
1 vidalia onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup dried figs, chopped
1/4 up balsamic vinegar
3 oranges, peeled, sectioned, and diced
1/2 cup freshly shopped parsley
salt and pepper
!. Cook brown rice according to package directions, adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water if not specified in the directions.
2. Place lentils in a small pot with enough water to cover by 2-3 inches. Add bayleaf and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the lentils after they have been cooking for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet and add onions. Cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add dried cherries and dried figs, vinegar, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine. Place a lid on the skillet and reduce to a simmer, cooking for about 1o minutes, or until most but not all of the liquid has been absorbed.
4. Combine cooked lentils, cooked rice, onion mixture, oranges and parsly and stir to combine. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.