I was inspired to create this dish after dining at Deseo Latin Restaurant in Scottsdale AZ. Deseo’s version was different but some of the flavors that stood out to me are in this dish. I did write about this dish before about three years ago but at the time didn’t actually post a recipe. Everyone who has tried this dish in my house said that it was very good and delicious! This is a very easy mostly one pot recipe.
Ingredients for about 6 servings.
1 lb red lentils – washed and inspected
1 bunch rainbow chard – cleaned – leaves torn off in pieces from stems and stems chopped
12 oz roasted tomatoes (or canned whole with puree is fine…over 12 oz works too)
1/2 sweet onion – chopped
3 garlic cloves – chopped fine
4 cups vegetable stock (or slightly more if you want it thinner)
17 dates – pit removed and chopped
1/2 cup almonds – skinless is preferred
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (1/2 in the beginning with the onions and the other half with the almonds)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Nora pepper ( you probably don’t have Nora Pepper and the second choice would be Aleppo pepper that is very similar…both are fruity pepper with very mild heat…Nora pepper is slightly smoky. If you don’t have either Nora or Aleppo pepper just add a pinch of paprika and a little bit of any pepper you like to taste)
7 oz manchego cheese – shredded
Two Tablespoons of olive oil on medium high in a pot. In few minutes the onions will be transparent and then add rainbow chard stems. Keep it going another minute or two till chard stems are soft and then stir in garlic. Now stir in rainbow chard till wilted. (about a minute). Remove from pot and put to the side.
To pot on medium high heat add stock, tomatoes, black pepper, lentils and bring to boil. Now reduce to simmer till lentils are soft. (about 1/2 hour or so)
Set oven to 300 degrees F.
During this time toast your almonds. On a sheet pan drizzle a Tablespoon of olive oil on the pan and add almonds. Drizzle another Tablespoon all over the almonds and put pan in oven till almonds got a butterscotch color. (Around 20 minutes)
Add remaining ingredients and almonds when they are done. Stir in cheese last.
Taste for seasoning adjustments and adjust if needed.
You will find this dish unique and delicious. Maybe the most delicious lentils you’ve ever tried!