Happy Fall, everyone! Am I the only one who struggles for motivation to cook on Monday evenings? After a busy weekend of cooking, working in the garden, errands, hiking with the dog, and all other manner of “weekend-ry,” my inspiration is tapped! Monday is the week’s jarring volt of reality, and while I’m not sure there exists a remedy, Sausage and Lentil Rice with Spinach is a viable start. Putting pantry staples and fresh greens to work, this dish ticks all the boxes as we head into the cozy, dinner-by-the-fire time of year. Healthy, hearty and simple, with tons of flavor, providing ease and comfort. Steady, warming and reliable. All the feels Monday seems to lack some weeks. And, P.S., a scoop of ice cream with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce directly afterwards? Monday is starting to feel a whole lot more like Thursday.
Have a fabulous Fall weekend! –HK
Sausage and Lentil Rice with Spinach
-2 tbsp. olive oil
-1 lb. Italian sausage or turkey sausage, casings removed
-1 medium onion, chopped
-Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
-1 tsp. cumin (or more — I used about 2)
-½ cup green or brown lentils
-2½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
-½ cup long-grain white rice
-1 can (15 oz.) chopped tomatoes
-2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
-1 bunch (9-ish oz. or so) fresh spinach, stemmed and torn
Heat oil in large straight-sided skillet over medium-high. Cook sausage until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes or so. Transfer to a plate. Add onion to skillet, reduce heat to medium, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5-6 minutes. Stir in cumin, cook for 30 seconds. Add lentils and chicken stock, bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in rice, tomatoes, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Return sausage and any juices to skillet. Cover, simmer over low until rice and lentils are just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add spinach, cover and cook until just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir spinach into rice mixture; season to taste. Tuck into a bowl and delight!
Quick Salted Caramel Sauce
-1 cup sugar
-6 tbsp. salted butter
-½ cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream, at room temp.
Melt sugar over medium to moderately high heat in a 2–3 quart saucepan or large pot. Whisk the sugar only a couple times as it melts to ensure it heats evenly (be patient here, let it completely melt). Cook the liquified sugar to a dark, copper color. Add the butter all at once and stir it in. Remove pot from heat and stir in the heavy cream (the sauce will foam up a good bit at this point, which is why you want to use a larger pot), whisking until you get a smooth sauce. Use right away, or store in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. Heat in microwave for about 30 seconds or so to loosen and pour if storing in fridge.