On the menu: Lentil Coriander Stew
How do I describe PhD brain?
Seriously. The last year and a half has been both the greatest and the worst for my cognitive ability. I have learned a shit-ton about bees: how they move, where they live, what they look like, their life cycle…lots of things. Bees are infinitely interesting. I’ve gained this knowledge, though, at the expense of short term memory loss, mixing up words when I speak, and nearly constant fatigue. So please don’t ask me to tell you anything I’ve learned lately, because a) I won’t remember and b) I won’t be able to explain it clearly.
But this doesn’t just apply to my work. It’s real bad at home. Here’s one example: I bought a new set of sheets on a whim the other day. When I told Kevin about it, he said: “Great! Now we have a replacement set for the ones that ripped last month.” I had absolutely no recollection of these ripped sheets. I figured I was away at work when it happened, but he tells me I was there. I saw it happen. Why didn’t I remember that? Worse, why couldn’t I even recall the incident when he described it in detail? I’d tell you another example because this happens a lot, but ironically, I can’t recall the details of other such incidents. I’ve always had a really good memory, but all this bee business has really put a damper on it. Perhaps I bought the sheets out of some subconscious cue or something. That doesn’t make these mind-blanking incidents any easier to deal with, though.
I haven’t forgotten this stew I made a couple of weeks ago. I just haven’t been able to find the right words to say along with it. Maybe these are them, maybe not. But I really just have to tell you to try this recipe. It’s one I tested for Food52 recently—their one-pot meal contest has my name written all the heck over it!—and it’s a good one. We’ve been eating a lot of lentils this month. There is a shelf in one of our cupboards dedicated to dried beans and grains, and I’m trying to whittle it down a bit.
Have you ever sliced an onion pole to pole? It’s weird. I felt like I was breaking all the laws of cooking when I did it, but it produced these gorgeous strings of onion that melted away into the stew and added great flavor. I learned that Italian-style turkey sausage is a thing, and it’s not bad, though cutting it into coins as the recipe suggests was impossible due to how soft it was. Notice the teeny meatballs in the photos. But, oh, friends, the coriander just killed it. I use a bit of coriander here and a bit there, but I’ve never seasoned a dish with a copious amount of coriander. The dominance of that oft-elusive spice was the primary reason I made this stew. It made our kitchen smell all tingly. It was bright and warm. Finished with a hit of lemon and a bit of Greek yogurt, this stew is one to remember.
Lentil Coriander Stew
from deanna1001 at Food52
1 pound Italian style turkey sausage, sweet or spicy, in link form
2 large onions, sliced thin pole to pole
2 1/4 teaspoons toasted and ground coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups dry green lentils
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Greek yogurt and thinly sliced lemon for garnish
Slice sausages into 1/2 inch coins, or slice links and form tiny meatballs. Brown in a dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned. Add onions and stir. Cover pot and cook until onions are tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Drain off excess fat. Stir in coriander, salt and ginger. Add lentils and 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer 50 minutes. Stir in zest and juice of lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls with a dollop of yogurt and a thin slice of lemon.