Google+ Allergy-Free Vintage Cookery: Sweet and Spicy Lentils with Harissa


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Lentils with Harissa

After all of our elaborate cooking for the holidays, it's nice to be able to whip something together with minimal effort.  Tonight's dinner for Vegan Dad is a "pantry" dish that became much more than the sum of its parts!  I stood in front of our pantry and loaded up my arms with things I needed to get rid of, intending to make something for my husband and eat something else myself.... but after I took this photo I made myself a plate, then went back for more!

The base of this dinner is a simple mixture of lentils and rice (cooked separately, then stirred together).  I added a bag of frozen corn, the rest of a shredded raw onion left over from another recipe, 1/2 a jar of harissa sauce, then served the whole shebang over arugula.  Wow!  The sweet corn really stands out against the spicy harissa, and the bitter arugula cuts through the mushy rice and beans.  I may actually go back for a third helping :)

My brown rice was over the hill and starting to get that stale smell (that my husband can't smell, but drives me nuts) so I mixed in some smoked paprika to the cooking liquid ... and it worked!  I can't taste or smell that "old" flavor, and the smokiness works very well with the harissa.  I lucked out tonight :)

P.S. Harissa is a hot chili sauce from North Africa.
P.P.S.  Don't skip the arugula... the dish will be too mushy without it.

Sweet and Spicy Lentils with Harissa

1 cup cooked brown rice (preferably cooked in vegetable broth with 1 tsp smoked paprika and 1 tsp olive oil)
1 (1 pound) bag lentils, cooked (in broth, with a little olive oil)
1 package frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup harissa paste
1/2 raw sweet onion, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch arugula (or one box pre-washed)

Warm up rice, lentils and corn.  Mix together in a large bowl and add harissa, onion, salt and pepper.  Serve over arugula.  You might like to add more onion or harissa if you are the spicy type!

Shared with Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist and Just Another Meatless Monday at Hey What's For Dinner Mom? and Real Food 101 at Ruth's Real Food and My Meatless Monday at My Sweet and Savory and Make Your Own Monday at Nourishing Treasures and the Hearth and Soul Hop at Premeditated Leftovers and Traditional Tuesday at Whole New Mom and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Gluten Free Wednesday at the Gluten Free Homemaker and Midweek Fiesta at Food Corner and Whole Food Wednesday at Beyond the Peel and Pennywise Platter at the Nourishing Gourmet and Wellness Weekend at Diet Dessert and Dogs and Freaky Friday at Real Food Freaks.


  1. Wow this looks good. I'm s sucker for anything lentil. Especially french lentils. I'm hosting a whole foods carnival at
    and this is exactly the types of food we're looking for. Fast healthy dinners! Have a great day!

  2. My husband is from North Africa so this is our kind of meal! Yum! I love harissa, it adds such a spicy kick to any meal. We serve it with so many different meals including pizza. :)

  3. Oooh, harissa on pizza sounds great! We'll have to try that :)

  4. Yes lentils become more tasty if you make it slightly spicy. Thanks for sharing the recipe with Hearth and soul blog hop.

  5. I have never had Harissa before to my knowledge. This is definitely on the "must try" list. !

  6. Looks so delicious.we like lentils a lot.Now this recipe is in my mind,will do some changes to my dish next time... Thanks a lot for linking with
    Midweek Fiesta

  7. This sounds amazing! I love the combination of flavors. Lentils are still fairly new to me, so I still get excited when I discover a new way to prepare them. Thanks for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Hop.