3-4 cups well-washed fresh spinach or
Swiss chard, cut in 1/2-inch strips
Wash the lentils, place them in a
saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat,
and cover the pan. Simmer for 25-40 minutes, until tender but still al
dente. Drain. Bring the
rice and 2 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20
minutes, covered, until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Set
aside. Bring the
vegetable stock to a boil in a saucepan. Add the onions and simmer until
tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, cumin
and cinnamon and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Add the lentils and lemon
zest and optional tomatoes to the pan. Heat through and then stir in the
greens. When the greens are tender, fold the lentil and greens mixture
into the rice. Season with salt and pepper.
Note: You may
make this ahead of time and place in a baking pan, cover with foil, and
warm in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Cooked cubes of carrots or butternut
squash may also be added to this mixture.
This combination of lentils, greens, and
rice is typical of the Middle East. Instead of serving the greens and
lentils over rice they are combined before serving. Accompany this with
a dollop of yogurt or mint chutney or a special fruit chutney. You can
substitute cooked chick-peas for the lentils.