Skip to content

Lentils with Spinach and Lemon

March 9, 2012

Lately, I’ve been re-acquainting myself with some cookbook favorites and came across Paula Wolfert‘s Mediterranean Cooking. If you love cooking from this region and are not familiar with Paula’s considerable body of work, please do so NOW. She will open up a whole world of exciting flavors for you.

So my Novio gets invited by a buddy to a basketball game and I invite a buddy over  for catch-up and dinner. Haven’t seen this biddy buddy in awhile and we had a lot to cover.

I needed something simple and delicious to serve that would behave on the stove without a lot of supervision.

Humble & incredibly versatile lentils

ahh, the zestiness of the lemon, the freshness of the cilantro

sauteing those onions

All over the world, good meals begin with the browning of onions. That should be discussed in peace talks.

some more green!

This early springtime soupy dish of lentils, spinach and lemon doesn’t exactly pop on the color meter.

If you want to prepare this dish during the winter, try substituting an equal amount of chopped kale instead of the spinach.

But the zing of the lemon and brightness of the fresh herbs gives it strong flavor appeal.  It’s a comforting and supremely tasty dish over brown rice that fit the bill together with a salad of greens, pears & pecans.

This buddy o’ mine is typically a highly articulate, fast-talking and quick-moving creature. When she took her first taste, she slowed down, looked up at me with wonder and said, “Mmm, mm, mm, MMMMM!” Then we proceeded to eat it all.

Lentils with Spinach & Lemon


1/2 c. lentils (brown or green)
water (see directions below)
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 T. fresh cilantro (or, if you must, parsley), chopped
2 c. fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 medium white potato, peeled and very thinly sliced
salt & pepper
2 T. lemon juice (juice of 1/2 a lemon), or more to taste


Wash and pick over lentils. Place in saucepan and cover fully with cold  water. Bring to a boil. Cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a separate saucepan (or casserole if doubling recipe). Add onions and saute until they just begin to brown. Stir in garlic and cilantro. Add spinach and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the thinly sliced potatoes, lentils, and enough lentil cooking liquid to cover. If you need more liquid, add a little water or broth. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1/2 hour, or until thick and soupy and potatoes are tender. Stir in lemon juice. Equally delicious hot, warm or cold.

Great as is or over brown rice.

You can use chopped kale instead of the spinach.

Serves 2 very hungry women who have a lot to discuss. Double the recipe for 6 regular portions.


From → Mains, Sides, Veggies

  1. Love this post!

  2. I love Paula Wolfert! She has never steered me wrong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: