Recipe: North African Brown Rice and Lentils with Gremolata

North African Brown Rice and Lentils with Gremolata


Sautéed onion and an eclectic blend of spices contribute plenty of flavor to this simple rice and lentil dish topped with a zesty blend of olives, lemon, and herbs. Serves 4.

Brown Rice and Lentils Ingredients

  • 1 cup green or brown lentils (dry)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup brown rice (dry)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups water

Gremolata Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, chopped or finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, chopped or finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

Soak lentils in warm water for 30 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan on medium high and sauté the onion until soft. Mix in rice.

Drain lentils and stir into rice and onion mixture with dry spices, brown sugar, and pinch of black pepper.

Add water, bring to simmer, cover, and cook on a low simmer for 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and keep covered for another 15 minutes before serving.

While lentils are cooking, prepare the gremolata by mixing together the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.

Serve rice and beans topped with 2 tablespoons of gremolata.