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Rustic Vegan Winter Stew over Polenta

January 16, 2012

I am really digging Post-Punk Kitchen for some good vegan recipes.  I love lentil stew, and

vegan lentil stew

this seemed like a perfect early Winter dish, especially served over polenta.  I changed it up a bit though- I increased the lentils and decreased the carrots, added some red wine for richness, and some mushrooms because I love ’em.

Ingredients:

For the stew:

1-2 T olive oil

1 small onion, diced medium

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t dried thyme

1/2 t celery seed

Several dashes fresh black pepper

1 t salt

3/4 c green or brown lentils

3/4 c baby carrots

2 lbs plum tomatoes, chopped (I used 1 28 oz can whole Italian tomatoes)

4 c vegetable broth

1 c red wine

1 lb small yukon gold potatoes, sliced in half (if using large ones, cut into about 1 inch pieces)

2 bay leaves

3 leeks, white & light green parts only, in 1 inch chunks (and washed well) (I skipped this)

1 8 oz package baby portobello mushrooms,cut in half

For the polenta:

4 c vegetable broth

1/2 t salt

2 T olive oil

1 c dry polenta

Directions:

For the stew:  Heat a large pot over over medium heat and add the olive oil, onion and a dash of salt and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, celery seed, pepper and salt and saute a minute more.

Add the lentils, baby carrots, tomatoes, vegetable broth and red wine.  Cover pot and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes, until lentils are slightly softened.

Meanwhile, make the polenta by bringing the vegetable broth and salt to a boil in a 2 quart pot. Add oil and lower the heat to a simmer. Add the polenta in a slow steady stream, stirring constantly with a whisk. Whisk for about 5 minutes, until polenta is thickened. Keeping heat low, cover and let cook for 20 more minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

When the stew has cooked for 20 minutes, add the potatoes, mushrooms and leeks (if using).  Lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 to 30 more minutes, until potatoes are fork tender and lentils are soft. Let sit for 10 minutes or so to allow the flavors to meld.  Serve over the polenta and sprinkle with Parmesan for a not-so-vegan dish.

To make the polenta:

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