Saturday, 24 February 2018

Lentil, tomato and rice dish

Recently I had tomatoes that were going really soft because they are cheap and plentiful but sometimes negelected in the kitchen.  I left them on the stove to cook slowly and forgot them until they were reduced to a pleasing intensity.  They were great tossed with some tinned lentils and leftover rice.  I liked it so much that I then took it further to use up basil.

So today I bring you a version of my second go at this dish which had less lentil and tomato but had a gorgeous fragrance from the basil.  I can show you that the tomatoes were really tasty by themselves.  If you look at the below picture you will notice a few tomatoes had been swiped while they sat overnight before I put the meal together.

It was a really easy after work meal.  And used up lots of basil which has been growing like crazy.  But as I say in the notes below, it is a pretty flexible sort of recipe.  I would probably do it a little differently next time depending on what is in the kitchen.

It is not quite a standalone main dish but doesn't need much to make it a meal.  The first night I served it with sausages, forgetting I had planned to put some greens with it.  The second night I served it with coleslaw, steamed corn, tomatoes and rocket.

Work has been busy lately so it is fitting that I have some random moments from work to share with you:
  • Where I work we have heavy security.  I have to swipe my security pass twice to get to my desk, and once to go and fill up my water bottle!  The other day I helped an elderly gentleman find the button to open the gate to exit the building.  I said it was hard to get out and he said, tougher than Pentridge.  This amused me because Pentridge is no longer a high security gaol but a fancy housing estate.
  • I saw a woman I vaguely know at work the other day.  Do you have these people who you don't know well but they seem to pop up in unexpected places.  This woman had a child with Sylvia in childcare, who also went to the same gymnastic club, and comes to our local pool sometimes and now I work in the same building as this woman.  The embarrassing thing is that I can never remember her name.
  • We had a group lunch out at work recently.  At the end when I helped to tally up the individual payments we were $20 out.  This happens.  What annoyed me was that they said they would check their batching and let me know if they were out.  They did ring but quite arrogantly told me "we were 100% right".  Well they might not have been out on the batching but they really got me offside with their lack of grace.  It is unlikely that I will return.

I am going to send this to VegHog for Eat Your Greens (co-hosted by Allotment2Kitchen).

More dishes to use leftover rice on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Cheesy cauliflower and rice soup (gf, v)
Fried rice with tofu scramble (gf, v) 
Italian rice and beans (gf, v)
Stuffed peppers with brown rice, nut roast and fennel
Tahini lime rice with kale and cashews (gf, v)
Zucchini and rice burgers

Lentil, tomato and rice dish
Serves 3-4

olive oil
1 onion
200g cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
3 cups cooked basmati rice 
400g tin of brown lentils
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
big handful or two of basil leaves
seasoning mix

Fry onion in 1-2 tsp olive oil until browned (about 5-10 minutes).

Fry cherry tomatoes in 1-2 tsp olive oil in a medium frypan with red wine vinegar, maple syrup and 1 to 2 good pinches of seasoning mix.  Check seasoning and fry 5-10 minutes or until most of the liquid is mostly evaporated.

Place onion, and rice in large frypan and mix until warm.  Stir in tomatoes, nutritional yeast flakes and basil leaves.  Season with a pinch or two or seasoning mix or as required.

NOTES: Many variations are possible.  When I first made this I used more tomatoes including 2 skinned larger tomatoes and less rice.  Basil makes it very fragrant but is not necessary if you don't have it.  I would like to try adding finely chopped spinach.  I fried the oninos and tomatoes the previous night and used leftover rice so it was very quick to put together.  

On the stereo:
Ilo Veyou: Camille


  1. This is my kind of dish. I do like basil, but fail to grow it well, so envy you. I would probably only sub the basil for coriander, only because I love coriander more. I do enjoy reading your random moments, I am forgetting peoples names a lot more these days so you are forgiven - you cannot expect to remember every one :) Thank you so much for sharing your rice dish with EatYourGreens.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with Eat Your Greens! I love all kinds of rice and lentil dishes, and it's always good to use some leftover veg that's about to go off. I think you have inspired me for an easy dinner tonight, as we'll be out and about most of the day.

  3. If I could only have two things in my store cupboard, it would be rice and lentils. You can get so much variety out of just those two, I'd never get bored. There's something really satisfying about making dinner out of things that are past their best. I've never had a lot of luck growing basil, but I've always got some vegan pesto to hand!

  4. What a great rice dish. I make rice dishes less than I used to because I got worried about reheating rice, but this is one I would make even if I couldn't enjoy the leftovers.

    I also enjoyed your list of bonus points / facts. Your security is heavier than at my workplace and I'm sure I'd worry about forgetting my pass and getting locked at the water fountain!

  5. It sounds like a lovely dish. Tomatoes are not in season right now here and it's making me sad. I'm trying to wait patiently for them to come back again.
    That is very tight security. I'm not sure I've ever worked somewhere like that. When I worked in finance, we did have guards and did have to swipe in - but only once. I'm trying to remember if you have shared with us where you work (I know some bloggers keep those things private though).
    "The embarrassing thing is that I can never remember her name." Ha. This happens to me a lot. My mother has a trick for this, which she pulls off incredibly well. She calls everyone honey or hon and it is so sweet and endearing that people don't even realize she has no clue what their name is. I call people doll, they seem to think it's cute as well.

  6. Mmmm that does look good! I too love tomatoes which have been slowly cooked to a rich intensity. My favourite way to get them like that is roasting, but it looks as though popping them on the stove is just as effective.
    What a fab dish to use up the leftovers though..... Basil is up there with my top 3 herbs! x

  7. I love rice and lentils! It reminds me of Persian and Middle Eastern rice. I often have those moments where I think I know people-sometimes I do but sometimes they remind me of other people :)

  8. So I also ended up having rice and lentils on Sunday, and it was great. Thanks for the inspiration! The Eat Your Greens round up will be up tomorrow.

  9. This looks delish. It is annoying when you go to a venue and they are rude - there are lots of other places to go so they could at least be gracious.


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