If I told you that this was another dish where versatility is key, would you be surprised? It’s the way that I cook, so as often as possible, I will offer alternatives. Just in case it’s a different season when you read this post, in case you have something else in your fridge, in case you don’t care for something that I’ve used.
I wanted to do a pasta dish of sorts, using veggies as the pasta. Here’s where you can pull out that spiralizer, if you’ve already jumped on the veggie pasta bandwagon. I have far too many tools in my kitchen, so I opted to use a knife to cut carrots and summer squash into long, thin, pasta-like sticks (kinda like a long julienne). Other veggies that would be great: beets, parsnips, daikon radish, and fennel. Just mix and match based on what will go with the fresh herbs that you have on hand (for help with parings The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is a great kitchen tool).
I cooked the “pasta” in boiling salted water. I cooked for just three minutes – quick and easy.
To top the “pasta” I made a simple sauce of sorts. I used butter today, but for a vegan option, or just because it’s yummy, olive oil would be fabulous. I chopped up some small radishes, a shallot, and some garlic. Other veggies that would be great: peas, greens, cabbage, and green beans – again, mix and match based on the other veggies and herbs that you have on hand. Today’s herbs were tarragon and parsley. Other herbs to consider (these all go with carrots, if you want to keep them as the main veg): basil, Thai basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, and thyme.
You could leave things as they are. That’d make for a great dish. But, I wanted to bump up the protein, so I added some lentils. I’m kinda obsessed with green lentils right now. They hold their shape well and taste great. I want to eat them all the time. Garbanzo beans or black beans would be fun too, if you’re not as in to lentils as I am.
The lentils and tarragon, along with the dijon mustard that I added to the sauce, resulted in a dish that felt kinda French inspired. Topped with fresh tomatoes, this was a fabulous lunch. By the time I got to it, it was more room temperature than hot, but it was delicious. So, serve it either way. You could also top with more fresh herbs or nuts, even cheese, if you’re feeling cheesy. It would be great with some garlic bread or cornbread alongside, and a hearty spinach salad… But, just on its own is wonderful too.
- 2 T butter or olive oil, divided
- 1/4 C radish, diced
- 1 shallot or small onion, diced
- to taste salt
- (could also add: peas, greens, cabbage, green beans)
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 C lentils (or garbanzo or black beans), cooked
- 1 to 1 1/2 t dijon mustard
- 1 C carrot, thinly sliced into strips and then into long noodle-like sticks
- 1/2 C summer squash, thinly sliced into strips and then into long noodle-like sticks
- (could also use or substitute: beets, parsnips, daikon radish, or fennel)
- 1-2 T fresh tarragon, chopped (with other veggies could substitute basil, dill, mint, or thyme)
- 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped, for topping
- splash white vinegar, for topping
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- While it comes to a boil, heat a skillet over medium-low. Add 1 1/2 T butter or oil. When it's hot, add radish through salt. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, lentils (or beans), and dijon, and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 T butter/oil, tarragon, and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
- While sauce cooks, drop carrots and squash (and any other veggie "noodles") into the boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain.
- Top "pasta" with lentil sauce, some tomatoes, and a splash of vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature.