Armenian Ragout of Lentils, Squash, Apricots Recipe
Armenian Ragout of Lentils, Squash, Apricots Recipes
1.5 lb butternut squash
3/4 cup green lentils
1 cup vegetable stock plus more as needed
for thinning and reheating
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into quarters,
soaked in hot water
1 cup diced plum tomatoes (optional)
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
oven to 375 degrees. Bake the
butternut squash for 45-50 minutes, until tender but firm. When the
squash is cool enough to handle, remove the peel, discard the seeds, and
cut the flesh into 1/2-inch chunks. Or you may peel the squash, cut it
into 1/2-inch chunks, and poach them in water or vegetable stock until
firm-tender. Drain and set aside. Cover the
lentils with cold water and bring up a boil. Simmer until firm-tender,
20-30 minutes. Keep testing, as the cooking time for lentils can vary
greatly depending on their age. When the lentils are cooked through,
drain them well and set them aside.
vegetable stock to a boil and add the onion, Reduce the heat and cook,
covered, until tender and translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic,
cumin, and cinnamon and simmer for a few minutes. Add the dried apricots
with some of their soaking liquid, the reserved lentils and squash, and
the optional tomatoes; simmer to combine flavors for about 15 minutes.
Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. If the ragout
seems dry, add more apricot liquid or stock. Sprinkle with chopped
parsley. Serve with rice.
This sweet and savory ragout makes a very
satisfying and filling dinner when accompanied by steamed basmati rice.
It can be prepared ahead of time and reheated, but you will probably
need to add more liquid when reheating because the lentils, squash, and
apricots absorb much of the pan juices as the dish sits. Fresh green
lentils are best, as they hold their shape; however, you can make the
ragout with brown soup lentils or red Indian lentils, but they will
soften more quickly and become more like a puree.