Here’s a simple yet wonderfully well balanced mid-weeker. Garlic, mushrooms, spinach and lentils make for such a warming bowl, but it’s the addition of tarragon that wakes up the flavour and makes this a complete dish.
Be brave with the garlic but be careful you get the right amount of tarragon. Just enough gives a hint of bittersweet, too much gives an aniseed flavour that overpowers the softer ingredients. The suggested measures below gives you leeway to add some more at the end if you want a bit more punch.
Things you might not know about tarragon…
- Most tarragon we eat is French, the alternative being Russian tarragon which is less flavoursome.
- Tarragon has a mild anesthetic property when used medicinally. It also has sedative properties and can be used in tea as an aid for insomnia.
- Herbalists sometimes use the herb as an digestive aid because of its ability to breakdown meat fats and proteins.
- Fresh tarragon is one of the highest antioxidant value food sources among the common herbs. It is packed with vitamins including vitamin C, vitamin A as well as B complex vitamins such as folates, pyridoxine, niacin and riboflavin.
- Tarragon is an excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc.
I’ve served this one with red carmargue rice. It’s got a good nutty flavour that works well with the mushrooms. It’s also adds a bit of crunch to the dish.
To make enough for a hearty bowl for one or two small portions with rice you will need:
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 fat garlic cloves or 3 regular – it’s good to go BIG on garlic with mushrooms
- 100g mushroom
- 100g spinach
- 100g cooked lentils
- 150ml veg stock (if using shop bought try the low salt Bouillon such as Marigold)
- Tablespoon tarragon – but potentially more at the end of the cooking, see below
Serve it with:
- 25g – 40g red rice – which doesn’t sound a lot, but the dish doesn’t need anymore or the rice will become the main event
- Generous spoonful of natural yoghurt
It’s a doddle to make, here’s how:
- Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water then cover with water. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat slightly for around 20 – 30 minutes till the grains are squeezable in your finger tips.
- While the rice is cooking, add your oil to a pan on a moderately high hob, add the onions and garlic. Give them a good five minutes to soften right down.
- Add the mushrooms and lentils and keep on a medium heat for around 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to soften.
- Add the stock and turn the heat down, allow the ingredients to cook for up to ten minutes.
- Put the spinach and tarragon on top and wait for it to wilt into the other ingredients, stirring gently once or twice to help the process.
- Make a final check on flavours and season, maybe adding some more chopped tarragon either now or to the end plate.
- Things should come together around the same time. Drain your rice and give yourself half with a generous measure of the mushrooms and sauce.
- Finish with a big spoonful of natural yoghurt.
(A serving with 25g rice and yoghurt contains approximately 220 calories)
Once made you can cover and keep this one overnight to reheat on the second day.
I hope you enjoy this simple and nourishing bowl of goodness.