If there is one thing that is always in my fridge, it is jars of mustard. That’s plural, because there is always more than one.
Dijon, stone-ground, brown, and yellow — it’s usually all there, to smear on sandwiches and sausages, to whisk into vinaigrettes, to flavor pork roasts, and to stir into velvety pan sauces for chicken.
As a bona fide mustard fiend, it’s no surprise that a recipe for “French Green Lentils with A Trio of Mustards” caught my eye — big-time. That’s because it incorporates not one, not two, but three types of mustard, as in Dijon, mustard seeds, and fresh mustard greens. How genius is that?
The recipe is from the wonderful new cookbook, “Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World’s Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein, with 125 Recipes” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.
It presents a world of beans, including information on soaking, cooking, storing, and even, um, how to combat flatulence. (Hint: The more beans you eat, the more your body gets used to them. Soaking beans overnight helps. And so does cooking beans with kombu, which aids in digestion.)
The book includes 125 creative, vegetarian recipes, including some that are real eye openers. They run the gamut from “Kidney Bean and Mushroom Bourguignon,” “Lentil, Zucchini, and Cherry Tomato Sloppy Joes,” and “Tofu Migas with Black Beans and Nopales” to “Coconut Cream Bean Pie,” and “Cardamom, Lime, and White Bean Bundt Cake.”
Green lentils are among the easiest and fastest beans to cook from dried, which makes this dish a cinch to make, even on a busy weeknight. Leftovers eat well the next day, too, even right from the fridge.
The lentils are cooked in vegetable broth for about 20 minutes. Then, onion, garlic, carrot, mustard seeds, and mustard greens get sauteed before being combined with the cooked lentils. Dijon mustard, chopped shallots, and a splash of red wine vinegar get stirred in next. Then, toasted pistachios and crumbled feta get strewn over the top for crunch and creaminess.
It’s a hearty, satisfying vegetarian dish all on its own. Or serve it as a side salad for all manner of entrees.
Despite three types of mustards, this is not in any way an overly piquant dish whose sharpness will leave you wincing. Instead, it’s balanced with loads of depth from layers of soft tasting mustard flavor. If you want it more aggressive tasting, just add a little more Dijon or vinegar.
With my mother lode of mustards, I’ll definitely be enjoying this dish again and again.
French Green Lentils with A Trio of Mustards
1 1/2 cups dried French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
Vegetable broth, home-made; or store-bought, no-salt-added vegetable broth, or water
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon yellow or black mustard seeds
1 large bunch mustard greens, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup toasted pistachios
1 cup feta, dairy or vegan, crumbled
Combine the lentils, 5 cups broth, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, pour the olive oil into a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onion, garlic, and carrot and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of the salt and the mustard seeds, then stir in the mustard greens and cook until they fully wilt, about 5 minutes.
When the lentils are tender, drain them, discard the bay leaf, and add them to the mustard greens mixture in the skillet, stirring to combine. Turn off the heat and stir in the shallot, vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Taste and add more salt if needed.
To serve, divide the salad among six serving plates and top with the pistachios and feta.
From “Cool Beans” by Joe Yonan
More Beans To Go Crazy For: Spicy Aromatic Braised Lamb Shanks with Chickpeas
And: Chickpea Panini
And: 5-Minute Hummus