Monday, January 11, 2021

How About a New Twist on Lentils?


As seen in Yankee Magazine

How about Chocolate, with Lentils and Squash? This isn't a Hershey Bar! This is onions, paprika and cilantro mixed together with dark chocolate, and you know what? It's absolutely delicious! Krissy O' Shea, who's a contributing editor with Yankee Magazine, says it's the perfect way to infuse a Valentine's Day favorite with new ideas in cooking. O'Shea, who wrote the article Bean to Bar, told Tonia's Kitchen about a recipe for Smokey Chocolate Lentils Stuffed Acorn Squash. Krissy told Tonia the creaminess of the chocolate and the silkiness of the lentils combine for a chocolate dish, the likes of which, you've probably never tasted before.

Smokey Chocolate Lentils Stuffed Acorn Squash 

Total Time:​ 1 hour, 15 minutes 

Hands-On Time:​ 40 minutes Yield:​ 8 servings 

● 1 cup small green lentils 
● 4 acorn squash, halved lengthwise 
● 2 teaspoons plus 3 tablespoons olive oil 
● Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
● 1 large yellow onion, diced 
● 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 
● 2 teaspoons ground cumin 
● 2 medium carrots, diced 
● 1 medium red pepper, diced 
● 3 cloves garlic, minced 
● 3 cups water 
● 14 ounces crushed tomatoes 
● 5 ounces dark chocolate (preferably infused with chilies) 
● Greek yogurt and chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish Instructions  Preheat oven to 400° and set a rack to the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse the lentils and pick through for any stones. Set aside. 

Scoop the seeds out of the squash halves, then cut a thin slice off the bottom of each so that they lie flat on the baking sheet. Drizzle each with a teaspoon of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Transfer squash to oven and roast until tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 6 minutes. Push the onion to the sides of the pan, clearing a space at the center. Add paprika and cumin to the center of the pan and lightly toast until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the diced carrots and red pepper and cook, stirring, until carrots have begun to soften, about 7 minutes (add a bit of water to the pan if things begin to brown too quickly). Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then add the lentils and stir to coat. Add the 3 cups water and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Most of the liquid should be absorbed but lentils should not be dry (add a few tablespoons of water if this is the case). 

Break up the chocolate into small pieces and stir into the lentils until all pieces have melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Fill the squash halves with the lentil mixture. Drizzle each lightly with olive oil and return to oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and some chopped fresh cilantro if desired.