Chocolate is an amazing comfort food. Macaroni and cheese is another. But in my household, the number one comfort food meal as a Middle Eastern dish called Mjedrah (pronounced: m-yed-rah or me-ay-drah alternately) It is an incredibly simple base of lentils and rice topped with a salad of infinite variation. Here is last night's version.
Typically I begin by sauteing a couple of medium sized coarsely chopped onions. However, last night I didn't have any onions, so I went out to the garlic patch and pulled a huge bulb. I minced it along with a chili pepper from my mystery chilli pepper plants.
Then I sauteed it in a little olive oil.
Next the brown rice is added and lightly toasted
When the rice is pleasantly fragrant, add water and lentils
Let the stew simmer until both rice and lentils are tender, then add salt.
Now for the salad!
Sometimes, when the cupboard is nearly bare the salad may consist of nothing more than a little iceberg lettuce and some store-bought salad dressing. With the garden coming along nicely though, we were able to have a relatively elaborate salad.
Cabbage, collard, beet and sugar beet leaves were all shredded
I cut turnips and beets into matchsticks
To this I added minced herbs: oregano, mint, sage, nasturtium leaves and scallions
Finally, I topped the salad with thin half moon slices of fresh tomato
to serve the meal we ladle out a nice serving of Mjedrah, salt it, and top it with a good handful of salad. The salad then gets drizzled with olive oil and your choice of vinegars (pictured here are Colavita Balsamic, Alessi's Fig Infused White Balsamic, and Benissimo's Blueberry Balsamic) I chose fig infused.
I also sprinkled a small pinch of cumin on my base layer before adding the salad. It was to die for! Possibly the best Mjedrah salad I've ever made! And to make it even better every vegetable and herb was organically grown in my own garden!
I suppose you'd like proportions for the lentils, rice and water at this point? Last night I used about a half cup each of lentils and rice with 4.5 cups of water. You can use more or less water depending on how much broth you like.