For the last two years I have spent almost every Saturday morning in the kitchen at Integral Yoga Institute NYC. Here, I prepare family meals for the Institute’s staff with the help of some volunteers. I love this job for so many reasons, but mostly because of the unique and intimate experience of cooking a wholesome, vegan meal in the company of like minded cooks, for people who truly appreciate it. I have made some great friends at Integral. When I fisrt started, I was a volunteer myself and worked under a Lebanese woman named Layla. Layla’s cooking was amazing; flavorful and rich yet surprisingly simple, and even though she no longer cooks at Integral many of her recipes remain.
The first dish that she taught me was Green Lentils with Onions and Dill. This dish uses only four ingredients, but has the depth and richness of Thanksgiving dinner. Try it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Green Lentils with Onions and Dill
2 cups green lentils, picked through and rinsed
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
5 large onions, thinly sliced
1 large bunch dill, minced
1. In a large pot bring the lentils and 6 cups of water to a boil. Cook, partially covered, until lentils are tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes, adding additional boiling water if needed. Drain lentils, transfer to a large serving bowl and set aside.
2. While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the onions, stirring frequently, until they are well caramelized. This may take any where from 15 to 45 minutes. Be patient and don’t be tempted to blast the heat or your onions will burn.
3. When the onions are done, pour them over the lentils along with the minced dill and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, being careful not to mash the lentils. Drizzle additional olive oil if needed. Serve immediately.