Meatless Monday: Beluga Lentil Stew & Squash Agrodolce
It’s been a while since we’ve done a Meatless Monday feature, eh? Inspiration can strike unexpectedly. I’m so taken with a recipe I tried recently that I want to make it for everyone I know. I think you’ll love it, too. I’m continually in awe of the bold and bright flavors that vegetable dishes offer when done right with lots of spices and seasonings. This Beluga Lentil Stew & Squash Agrodolce is the perfect example of how easy it is to forgo meat and create something healthful, seasonal and brimming with flavor.
Agrodolce is a traditional Italian sweet and sour sauce, and this version is pretty incredible with tender and caramelized butternut squash, fresh rosemary and toasted hazelnuts. The sauce sits atop a wholesome stew of beluga lentils with garlic and red onion. It’s one of the most satisfying meals I’ve had all winter. Best part? This nourishing dish is full of vitamins and minerals that keep your complexion happy. Serve it up.
Beluga Lentil Stew & Squash Agrodolce
- ¾ cup beluga lentils
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1 ½ cups total) — peeled, cored and small diced
- 1 red onion, small dice
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
- 3 tablespoons hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Make the lentil stew…
In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the lentils; cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the lentils are lightly toasted and fragrant.
Add 2¾ cups of water to the pot of lentils; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, 28 to 30 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed and the lentils are tender. (If the lentils seem dry, add up to ¼ cup of water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and add the butter; stir until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the squash agrodolce…
While the stew simmers, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender.
To the pan of squash, add the honey, vinegar, hazelnuts, rosemary and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened. Remove from heat. Divide the finished stew between 2 bowls. Top with the agrodolce. Enjoy!
Would you try this recipe? Are you feeling hearty vegetable stews right now, too?
*Recipe and photo from Blue Apron.