Wednesday, May 14, 2014

French Lentils with Zucchini and Sweet Potato

I had very little time to prepare dinner tonight, so of course thought of my Instant Pot electronic cooker. Here is what I did.

  • About a cup of French lentils
  • A little over a cup of zucchini diced to 3/8" cubes
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2" cubes (I used one white and one purple sweet potato)
  • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • Broccoli stalk (not florets) cut into 1/4" cubes - approx. 1  cup
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 12 basil leaves cut into 1/4" strips (chiffonade), reserving half
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water (regular water could be used, but boiling shortened the time for the pressure cooker to come to heat)
  • Approx. 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  1. I put all the ingredients, except half the basil, into the pressure cooker. Though one reference I commonly use suggests 15-20m cooking time under pressure, I know that lentils can get too mushy and this seemed just too long a time - sure enough, Miss Vickie, well-known pressure cooker recipe author, has a table that made more sense, recommending 7 minutes.
  2. I covered the pressure cooker and set it to cook for 7 minutes under high pressure.
  3. I let the pressure cooker come down to temperature gradually, then gently let out remaining steam (I would have let it take its time - probably about 10m - but had a bit of a rush, so let it go just 5m). I mixed in the remaining basil and served, adding some hot sauce at the table.
I served this with a whole grain bread topped with tomato and basil, as well as some carrot.


My wife enjoyed the dish. I thought it was good but probably the least interesting meal that I've made in my Instant Pot, needing more flavor.
Ideas for the future

Some onion, ginger, and jalapeno would be good to enhance the flavor. The texture of the dish was too uniformly soft; I wonder if some eggplant would be good and maybe adding some fresh onion at the end.

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