Sunday, September 4, 2011

Nourishing Late Summer Dinner

As the days are growing shorter and our evenings are reminding us that Autumn is at our backs. I can't believe that it is Labor Day Weekend, where did Summer fly too? 
Friends will be over tonight for Dinner, so I want to make something flavorful and attractive. Combining my love for Mediterranean and Asian Cuisine, I bring you my humble attempt at Eurasian Fusion! 

Our Menu is a Lentil Stew with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Herbs;   Shiitake Rice; Swiss Chard and Shallots Saute; Pickled Red Radishes and a Blanched Salad!
We will be Dinning Al Fresco so don't forget your Wrap!

Lentil Stew with Sundried Tomatoes and Herbs

2 Cups Brown Lentils sorted, rinsed and drained
1/2 Cup of Sundried Tomatoes soaked overnight, drained and diced (save the soaking water for cooking lentils)
1 inch piece of Kombu Sea Vegetable soaked and Diced 
1 Large Onion diced
2 Cloves of Garlic minced
Cup of diced Carrots 
2 Stalks of Celery diced
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp of Fresh Thyme minced
1/2  tsp of fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbl Tamari
Italian Parsley for Garnish

In a large sauce pan add 1 Tbl of Olive oil (reserve the rest for later) 
Add your Onions, Garlic, Carrots and Celery and Saute for a few minutes
Add Kombu, Lentils, Diced Sundried Tomatoes, Herbs 
Add water to cover  and this will include the soaking water from the Sundried Tomatoes
Bring to a low boil (add water to shock the Lentils when needed) cover and simmer 
When Lentils are tender add the Tamari and simmer for an additional 7 minutes
Mix in Olive Oil the last few minutes of cooking (optional, but yummy)
Garnish with Parsley

Shiitake Rice

2 Cups Golden Rose (med. grain) Brown Rice, rinsed and drained
5 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms Soaked in 2 Cups of Water
1 inch piece of Kombu 
2 Tbl Tamari
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
4 Cups Water, this includes leftover soaking water from the Shiitake
1 Finely sliced Scallion for Garnish

Flame Diffuser

Place Kombu in bottom of Pot 
Place Rice on top of the Kombu
Add Liquid and soak for 4 to 8 hours 
Remove stems from Shiitake and sliced or diced
Bring to a boil add Tamari and Salt
Cover and set on a pre-heated Flame Diffuser (to prevent sticking) on a medium low flame 
Cook for 50 Minutes

Remove from Pot with a Rice Paddle and place in Serving Bowl and Garnish with Scallion


Swiss Chard and Shallot Saute
2 Bunches of Swiss Chard washed and cut
4 Shallots  peeled and sliced 
1 Tbl Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Zest of 1 Organic Lemon

Heat Oil in Large Saute pan
Add Shallots and saute with a pinch of Sea Salt for 1 Minute
Add Swiss Chard and Saute on a Medium to High Flame for 2 Minutes
Turn off flame, add Lemon Zest and Toss

Red Radish Pickles with Umeboshi Vinegar

2 Bunches of Red Radishes, washed, greens removed and quartered
Umeboshi Vinegar
1 Quart Mason Glass Jar
Cheese Cloth 
String or a Rubber Band 

Place Radishes in an impeccably clean Mason Jar
Mix 1/4 Cup of Umeboshi Vinegar with 2 cups of Spring Water
Pour over your Radishes (be sure all radishes are submerged)
Cover Mason Jar with Cheese Cloth, fasten with a rubber band or twine
Leave in a cool dry place for 3 Days if mold forms on top, carefully remove with spoon
Place covered jar in fridge and enjoy for a week to 10 days 
*If  you are not expecting guests halve or quarter the recipe 

Serve this meal with the Blanched Salad Recipe, posted on August 21 and beverages of your choice. I hope you enjoy this meal, share it with friends and family and toast to this glorious season of Summer! 


  1. Love the Mushroom rice, so earthy & grounding Yummeeeee***

  2. Just discovered your blog and I love it!