There are days when dinnertime’s almost here and I still don’t know what to prepare for supper. I’ve never really been a planner and that includes what to eat when. One of my reasons for this is that I like to see what’s fresh and local at either the farm market or the grocery store and plan the menu accordingly. I always prefer to buy produce from local sources, which translates into fresher quality, better prices and also support for our local small growers. The farm market near my house has finally gotten a few more produce stands. I sure hope this young woman returns next year!
So when I wasn’t sure what to make for dinner the other night, I took inventory of the vegetable drawers in the fridge and the pantry before logging onto the WaPo website to check for a tasty recipe that would require lots of in-season produce! That’s when I noticed this Moroccan Dutch Baby recipe. The original recipe called for small mozzarella balls which I didn’t have, but the smoked gouda I did have worked just fine. I think that feta cheese would be really yummy as well!
Before I dove into the cooking part I decided to also make a simple green salad with just a little finely minced red onion, a splash of sherry vinegar and a little olive oil. The greens for the salad got washed, dried and then refrigerated to get crisped up. The “dressing” got added right before serving everything.
Next I started the lentils since they can take 45 minutes or so to cook. If you’ve never tried the tiny black Beluga lentils I encourage you to get some. They cook up beautifully and keep their shape well. They are also high in many nutrients and fiber. Once the lentils were simmering on the back burner I turned my attention to the Dutch Baby! 😉
Cinnamon-Spiced Beluga Lentils
- 1 large onion, chopped
- olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- a generous pinch of saffron (Trader Joe’s and Costco have good prices)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- salt and pepper
- a couple of bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups Beluga lentils, sorted and rinsed well
- 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (you could use a can) in season
- 1 or 2 freshly squeezed limes for the lentils at the end of the cooking time
In a heavy pot heat a little olive oil and sauté the onion until soft and golden. Add the smoked paprika and saffron.
Stir and continue to cook until the spices are fragrant.
Add the lentils, mix well and sauté a few more minutes.
Pour enough hot water into the pot to cover the lentils by about one inch. Add the rest of the spices, stir and bring to a boil.
Add the tomatoes, turn the flame down to a gentle simmer and cook partially covered until the lentils are tender.
Adjust the seasoning with the lime juice and add a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Keep warm.
While the lentils are simmering away preheat the oven to 425°. Gather your ingredients and either a 8 inch cast-iron pan or round ovenproof casserole dish. When the lentils are just about done, start the Dutch Baby. And once the Dutch Baby is baking, assemble your tomato, cheese and herb mixture for the topping.
The Dutch Baby
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 2 tablespoons harissa
- 1/2 cup of milk (I used Bulgarian buttermilk)
- a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 oz cheese like small mozzarella balls, feta, smoked gouda, Swiss or …
- lots of fresh basil or parsley, washed, dried and chopped
- 2 fresh limes
In a blender, beat the eggs on medium high until they are frothy. Then add the flour, harissa, milk, salt and a little pepper. Blend it until a smooth batter forms.
Put the butter into the pan and heat it in the oven until the butter is melted, but not burned. Remove pan from oven and immediately pour the batter into the dish. Bake on the middle shelf for about 13 to 15 minutes. The baby should be brown around the edges and puffed up. Turn off the oven and let the baby rest inside it for another 5 minutes. This is supposed to help keep its structure.
Remove the Dutch Baby from the oven.
Tomatoes, cheese and herbs ready for the Dutch Baby!
Top the Baby with the fresh tomato mixture and lots of fresh lime juice and enjoy!
This was enough for two dinners for the two of us.
The leftover lentils went really well with a vegan Vegetable Tagine I made the next day.
That recipe I will share next Tasty Tuesday!