Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lentils with Kale and Sweet Potato

When your produce box arrives for the second week in a row with an overabundance of kale and sweet potatoes, it's important to be ready for action. Fortunately, we were armed. With French lentils. And an Andalusian combination of herbs and spices. And Turkish dried pepper. Because some things call for international collaboration.

This recipe, loosely adapted from here, is richly satisfying, full of flavor, and the perfect antidote to a rainy day (and an overflowing fridge).

Olive oil
1 small-to-medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cups diced orange sweet potato
2 small or 1 large carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small or 1 large bunch dino kale, cut crosswise into strips
1 cup French lentils, rinsed well and picked over carefully to remove any stones
3 cups chicken and/or veggie broth (I used half and half)
2 tsp Aleppo pepper (or sub 1 minced jalapeno)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp paprika
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp dried thyme*
1/8 tsp dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Heat a glug of olive oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring, until translucent. Add the sweet potato and continue cooking, stirring only occasionally, until the mixture begins to brown slightly in places.

Stir in the carrot and garlic and cook for a minute more, then add the kale by the handful. Continue to cook for another minute or two until the kale wilts down. Sprinkle with salt, add the lentils, and stir well. Stir in the broth, spices, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low (you want a strong simmer) and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 or 10.

When the lentils are tender, turn off the heat. Adjust salt and spices to taste. Ladle into bowls, top with freshly ground white pepper, and wait for a couple of minutes before serving (you want it warm but not scalding to maximize the flavor).

Serves 3. Pairs well with toasted whole grain bread and a glass of Rioja.

*To convert dried to fresh, multiply by three (so 3/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme)


  1. What a beautiful, elegant and salubrious recipe! I have been enjoying lentils with quinoa, lentil, kale and roasted butternut squash lately with Indian spices. Today, I have a slow cooker filled with a kale, squash and bean "chili." I love your idea of "spiking" a traditional French lentil recipe with some sweet potato and kale, two of my favorite things. You could even use some white wine in place of some of the stock. Yes, Rioja is the obvious accompaniment, and some toasted La Brea multigrain bread with butter or Earth Balance. MMM. :-) Great post!

  2. Your article is very helpful thank you very much for sharing .