Thank goodness I have a friend like Erin (she is amazing…check out our gnocchi night from awhile back) who, on a regular basis, shows me awesome recipes. I would have never chosen to make this recipe on my own, because it sounds kind of weird. A Stir Fry with lentils, almonds, and brussels sprouts? Really? But she raved about it, and had every reason to!
The recipe is a fantastic and hearty vegetarian dish. I’ve made it twice already. The mint sauce, although optional, is phenomenal and I want to eat it on everything. Next time I make this I will be doubling the mint sauce recipe because it is so good!
Lentil Almond Stir Fry
From 101 Cookbooks
Serves 2-3, but double the recipe (or just wing it…the amount of potatoes, sprouts and other ingredients are all about preference here, and this dish makes for great leftovers)
Mint sauce (optional, but do it)
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 serrano chile pepper, de-veined and seeded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- pinch of salt
- a touch of sugar, or honey, or agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 to 8 very small fingerling or other type of tiny potatoes, cut into 1/2 pieces
- 2 cups cooked brown or black lentils
- 12 brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, never hurts to add a little salt, lemon, and dill
- 2 dates, pitted and chopped (if you don’t feel like chopping dates, use golden raisins or another sweet, dried fruit)
Start by making the mint sauce. Combine the mint leaves, serrano, olive oil, salt, sugar, and lemon juice in a food processor (or blender). I have a tiny food processor that works great. This sauce is really good, so double it if you have to use a bigger device (otherwise there is so little in the processor it doesn’t mix well). Give it a few pulses, just enough for the mint to break down a bit. Taste, and adjust as needed (more salt or spiciness? maybe more sweet? Go for it).
Toast the almonds (if not already toasted) in a skillet over low heat. Toss around ever few minutes and keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn!
Now cook the potatoes along with a generous splash of olive oil and pinch of salt in a large skillet over medium heat. Cover the skillet and let the potatoes cook through, this will take 5-10 minutes or so, depending on the type of potatoes you choose. The water in the potatoes will help steam and soften them. When the potatoes are just cooked through (not mushy or falling apart) remove the lid and give them a good toss. Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir every minute or so (a spatula helps) until the potatoes look a bit golden. Stir in the lentils, and cook until heated through. Turn the potatoes and lentils out onto a large plate and set aside.
Now cook the brussels sprouts using the same pan. Heat another splash of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Don’t overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly. Place the sprouts in the pan (single-layer), sprinkle with a pinch of salt, cover, and cook for a few minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they’re tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for another minute or two. Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized.
Add the lentils and potatoes back to the skillet and add most of the sliced almonds. Turn out onto a large platter and drizzle with some of the yogurt and mint sauce. Top with the remaining almonds and the chopped dates.