Lentil Almond Stir-Fry

Lentil Almond Stir-Fry Recipe

A warm, hearty, fill-you-up stir-fry for a cold night. There's nothing too fancy going on here, just tiny potatoes, golden brussels sprout wedges, toasted almonds and lentils tossed together in a olive oil-slicked skillet. I served it with a drizzle of mint and a bit of thinned-out, salted plain yogurt, and a sprinkling of chopped dates.

Lentil Almond Stir-Fry Recipe

Making the mint drizzle take a bit of extra effort that you could skip if you don't have the inclination to make an extra component. Personally, I love the way the mint plays off the creamy potatoes and yogurt, but you could take the building blocks of this recipe and go in plenty of other directions that take varying degrees of effort. You might do a handful of grated Parmesan and a bit of lemon zest in place of the mint sauce and yogurt. I love the combination of lentils and goat cheese, so you could go that route (to which a handful of snipped chives would be a good finish). You could do a simple curry sauce along with the lentils, brussels sprouts, and potatoes. Lots of places to take this.

Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you for all your thoughtful comments on the last post.

Lentil Almond Stir-Fry Recipe

I used some fun marble-sized purple potatoes in this version, but you can use whatever smaller, new potatoes you come across. Just try to avoid big, starchy potatoes here. Also, Wayne brought home packets of cooked black lentils from Trader Joe's the other day. They're great if you are in a time crunch and don't have time to cook up a fresh pot of lentils.

Mint sauce (optional)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 serrano chile pepper, de-veined and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt
a touch of sugar, or honey, or agave nectar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

extra-virgin olive oil
6 to 8 very small new potatoes, cut into 1/2 pieces
2 cups cooked brown or black lentils
12 brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, thinned out with a bit of water, and salted with a pinch of salt

2 dates, pitted and chopped

Start by making the mint sauce. Combine the mint leaves, serrano, olive oil, salt, sugar, and lemon juice in a food processor (or blender). Give it a few pulses, just enough for the mint to break down a bit. Taste, adjust for your tastes (more serrano? salt?) - set aside.

Now cook the potatoes along with a generous splash of olive oil and pinch of salt in a large skillet over medium heat. Cover the skillet and let the potatoes cook through, this will take five minutes or so. The water in the potatoes will help steam and soften them. When the potatoes are just cooked through (not mushy or falling apart) remove the lid and give them a good toss. Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir every minute or so (a spatula helps) until the potatoes look a bit golden. Stir in the lentils, and cook until heated through. Turn the potatoes and lentils out onto a large plate and set aside.

Now cook the brussels sprouts using the same pan. Heat another splash of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Don't overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly. Place the sprouts in the pan (single-layer), sprinkle with a pinch of salt, cover, and cook for a few minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they're tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for another minute or two. Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized.

Add the lentils and potatoes back to the skillet and add most of the sliced almonds. Turn out onto a large platter and drizzle with some of the yogurt and mint sauce*. Top with the remaining almonds and the chopped dates.

Serves 2-3.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • I love the pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joes. I have used them in several recipes including the lentil soup recipe I got here -- which is what I brought for lunch today.

    Jenn
  • I just made this last night - fantastic! My brussels sprouts-phobic, meat-eating husband even loved it. I know Heidi said the mint sauce was optional, but I think it really pulled the dish together. I added a little bit of pomegranate syrup to the mint sauce and it gave it a nice tang. Next time I would add a few more dates ... I brought leftovers to work for lunch today and I'm thinking about throwing in a few golden raisins. As always, thank you, Heidi!

    Mary
  • I love how you make simple look so beautiful. I am hungry just looking at this.

    Erin
  • Oooh...I LOVE mint with lentils. One of those beautiful combinations. Have you tried Claudia Roden's recipe for red lentil soup with mint out of her Slow Mediterranean Kitchen book? Onions, red lentils, dried mint and aleppo pepper...simply delicious!

    Laura
  • Mmmm.... packets of cooked lentils from Trader Joe's, you say? Sounds like a good idea for someone who doesn't like going the usual grocery-store-cans route, but doesn't always have time to cook everything from scratch, and this recipe definately has me wanting to check it out! Lentils and Greek yoghurt, yay!

    Kellie Hill
  • Dear Heidi, How did you know exactly what we bought at the farmer's market in Oakland this weekend?! We weren't sure how to combine our varied produce and you provided a delicious solution. We ended up adding Parmesan, sea salt, and lemon as a sauce, and cooking the Brussels sprouts with garlic. We used what we had around and it turned out yummy. Thanks so much, Sarah and Arthur

    Sarah and Arthur
  • The potato color increased the interestingness to two more levels. Do they taste any different from regular small new potatoes?

    Em
  • This looks incredible! I just used purple potatoes in some soup recently and they were delicious. I wouldn't have ever thought about adding mint to my lentils, but since I'm all about experimenting in 09, I'll definitely give it a go! Another fabulous dish w/lovely pictures, Heidi. You're my inspiration!

    Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well
  • I'm sorta new to the blogging world and just found your site and have enjoyed reading your posts very much! Your recipes look amazing!

    Lesley
  • "Just"? There's nothing just about this recipe. I do believe I have my dinner inspiration. Now that I have a functioning stove again, I am planning on working my way through many of your recipes (the coconut milk chocolate pudding is high on that list).

    Pam
  • Looks perfect to take the chill off of a day like this! Heidi, thanks always for these recipes, it is great that you take the time to make healthy dishes accessible. One question, do you think cilantro would be too "aggressive" in this? All out of mint and currently boycotting Whole Foods since they stopped carrying my favorite cottage cheese.

    Darien
  • "nothing too fancy," ha! this looks amazing, it contains pretty much all of my fave ingredients, especially brussels sprouts, which i've been cooking obsessively for the past few weeks. even though i've made and love the shredded style you've used in recipes all over your site, i can't get enough of the golden, crispy pan-fried version, so it's great to see a new way to use them. if only i weren't mid-apartment search and had a kitchen to use... :-( but this is something to look forward to. cheers, heidi.

    Courtney
  • This looks great, those purple potatoes are so pretty!

    Sara
  • Excellent. Lentils have been silent in my food repertoire for awhile, and this was a perfect reminder to bring them back. I'm thinking perhaps of tahini/lemon sauce rather than the mint.

    Jeff
  • This looks great! I love lentils, especially in the winter, and I get to so many new ideas of how prepare them from your website. So thank you :) And I just happen to have purple potatoes that I have been hoarding since the farmers market closed in October.

    Sarah
  • Sounds like a perfect winter salad with a lot of flavors, depth and crunch. Love the idea of the crunch with the almonds!

    Silvia
  • Looks like a perfect way to bounce back from all that holiday eating. The mint sauce looks awesome!

    Kristin
  • I just made this tonight and it was DEEE-licious! Except instead of drizzling the mint sauce on top, I mixed it in with everything...the mint sauce really ties everything together. You suggest making it optional but I think the dish would suffer without it. The little flecks of chili pepper (I couldn't find Serrano at the grocery store) were like little red jewels twinkling amongst all the other green and earthy-coloured ingredients. Yummmmmm!

    orange_pippin
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