This unusual combo was inspired by a recipe in the June 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times. That particular recipe called for rhubarb. Back then I did make it with rhubarb and it was excellent. But rhubarb is long out of season. What is in season is persimmons. We get these Fuyu persimmons in our CSA box (more about our wonderful CSA in a future post) every year and I never know what to do with them. These are the firm variety of fruit; they are supposed to be eaten like an apple and unfortunately are not the soft type (Hachiya) that are so great for baked goods. I don’t really like the Fuyu persimmons but I had the brilliant idea of using them in this lentil recipe. I would definitely make this again. I love it when I come up with tasty ways of eating foods I am not usually fond of. Yay!
Indian-Spiced Lentils with Persimmons & Spinach
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbls mustard seeds (yellow or brown)
1 large red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbls fresh ginger, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
Large pinch of ground cinnamon
1 cup Le Puy lentils, rinsed
3 ½ cups vegetable broth, divided
3 Fuyu persimmons, peeled, cored, and diced small
5 cups (packed) baby spinach, chopped
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium-low heat. Add mustard seeds and cover. Once seeds start to pop, cook for about 2 minutes.
Remove lid, add onions, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and spices and sauté for a few more minutes.
Add lentils and 3 cups broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add persimmons and last ½ cup of broth and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 5-10 minutes. Salt to taste.
Serve over rice and garnished with cilantro.