Usually I'm not bothered by dishes that take their time to cook (see risotto, chili, dishes involving dried beans, etc), but today I kept looking at this pot, tasting the crunchy lentils, and thinking Why isn't this done yet? Finally, Jesse distracted me by taking our dog fora walk, whilethe stew lightly bubbled away. When we returned, it was done, finally, kind of like how a watched pot never boils. I was afraid it would be bland, but it's not at all. Instead it's surpsingly yummy - a sweet and tangy way to scarf down the healthfulness of lentils, kale, and brown rice (that sausage is just in there for fun).
I would make this again, but do one of two things to ease the long cooking time:
1. Soak the lentils for an hour beforehand so that they cook faster than the rice, instead of more slowly than the rice. It's been so long since I've made lentils that I forgot that's what the box recommends.
2. Throw all the ingredients in my crock pot in the morning and let the crock pot do its magic at low heat all day while I'm at work. Had I done that today, we could have eaten this when we were hungry, instead of filling ourselves beforehand on a bag of chips as a snack.
Lentil, Sausage, Kale, and Rice Stew
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch kale
2/3 lb sausage
1 cup lentils
3/4 cup brown rice
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups chicken stock
crushed red pepper
Dice onion and mince garlic. In a large pot, sautee onion and garlic in olive oil over medium low heat until they begin to soften.
Add sausage (broken into small pieces) and sautee over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage begins to brown. If you want, you could drain the pot at this point to remove sausage fat that has accumulated in the pot.
Meanwhile rinse kale and chop into small pieces. Add kale and 2 tbsp water, scrape bits off bottom of pot. Cover and let steam for a few minutes until kale begins to wilt.
Add lentils, rice, mustard, and balsamic vinegar, and stir to combine.
Then add water, chicken stock, and spices. Bring to a boil and let simmer about an hour until rice and lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Add additional water if you like a soupier consistency. Serve with hunks of crusty bread or toasted pita.