Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lentil Apricot Casserole

A warning:  your kids are going to stare at this and say, "It looks like goat barf."

And another warning:  you're going to agree with them.

So okay:  this recipe doesn't win any awards for presentation.  It looks like hurl.  I can give no stronger recommendation for this dish, though, than the fact that Jamie--Jamie, by far my fussiest eater these days--took seconds of this dish on his own accord.  And then took thirds.

I'm not sure what makes it work.  Obviously, dried apricots are awesome.  And the bulgar wheat gives a nice texture to the dish.  I've never been a friend of lentils--they taste like dirt, if you ask me--but I like them in this dish.  This recipe is actually Ellen's discovery, coming from Michele Urvater's Monday to Friday Cookbook.  This is generally a great book, though a lot of the recipes require a pressure cooker.

Be sure to serve with low-fat yogurt or sour cream.

Lentil Apricot Casserole

1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup bulgar wheat (also known as millet)
1 cup dried lentils
4 cups chicken broth (water will work if you're a vegetarian)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dried apricots, cut in half
Plain low-fat yogurt or sour cream

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  
  2. Heat the oil in a 4-quart ovenproof pan over medium heat. 
  3. Add the curry powder and the bulgar wheat/millet.  Saute about 1 minute.  
  4. Add the lentils and the broth.  Bring to a low boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  5. Cover and bake until the grain and lentils are tender, about 25 minutes.  
  6. Remove from oven (dur!), stir in the apricots, add a 1/2 cup more broth if the dish is starting to seem dry.   
  7. Re-cover and bake for 10 more minutes.  
  8. Adjust seasoning and serve with yogurt/sour cream.  

Family Ratings

Will, who's kind of proud of no longer being the fussiest eater in the family:  9.5
Lucy, who would probably eat this even if it included dirt instead of lentils:  10
Jamie, who's kind of proud of now being the fussiest eater in the family: 10
Ellen, who's been trying to get us to eat less meat for year:  10
Paul, who can actually tolerate the lentils when they're with dried fruit:  9