Early summer is upon us, and fresh greens are abundant! This morning the crew harvested arugula, mustard greens, spinach, bok choy, and lettuce! Mustard greens are a lovely, delicate tasting green that quick down into a delicious curry. I like to use red lentils (which are orange and turn yellow when cooked) for dishes like this because they get very soft when cooked. Serve this over rice or on it’s own.
Start by breaking down the greens. I generally remove the stems of greens. For these very fresh greens, I took out the stem on the larger ones and left it there on the small delicate leaves. Fold each leaf in half and the stem is easy to cut out. Chop or tear into bite size pieces and triple wash using a salad spinner. I use the strainer and the bowl of the salad spinner to wash greens even if I don’t need to spin them dry because it is very easy to submerge them in water and then lift out the basket.
The base for the curry is onions, garlic, and use fresh grated ginger if you have it or powdered if you don’t. Saute over medium low heat until onions are translucent, then add the spices. Add water or stock and lentils, and bring to a boil.
Cook lentils uncovered over a low simmer for about twenty minutes, then add greens and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar. Serve over rice or as a stew.
Curried Lentils and Mustard Greens
1 bunch mustard greens
1 cup red lentils
4 cups water or vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp dried ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon hot madras curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt + pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or fresh lime juice
Prepare greens. Remove stems of greens and wash thoroughly. Chop or tear into bite-size pieces. Chop onion and mince garlic and ginger.
Heat olive oil over medium low heat. Saute onions, garlic, and ginger until onion is softened and translucent. Add dry spices, mix, then add water or stock, stirring to get any bits off the bottom of the pan. Add lentils, bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes stir in greens, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Check lentils for doneness. When lentils are done season to taste with salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar or lime juice.