Last night for dinner, I made Mujadara for the first time. The recipe originally comes from an entry from Orangette’s blog, and I’d been meaning to have a go at it for awhile now.
The recipe called for brown lentils, but since we had pearl barley on hand, I ended up using the latter instead. I imagine it gave the dish a different flavouring than originally intended, but I was pleased with the result regardless. Unfortunately, the hour I spent caramelizing the onions ended on a somewhat less pleasing note – the bottom of the saucepan burned, and it took until this afternoon to have it completely cleaned. Worst of all, in my attempt to ‘boil’ the grunge off (thanks, eHow), I left the pot boiling so long that the water completely evaporated! Yes, that meant it was officially doubly stuck on.
Not my finest domestic moment, but I have to take some credit for the elbow grease that made the saucepan sparkling clean again. We ended up with leftovers, and true to Orangette’s word, the dish was yummier today reheated than it was yesterday. I think the simplicity of this recipe is its biggest draw – it’s missing a wow factor that I usually look for in keeper recipes, but it’s healthy and a no-brainer when there isn’t much else going in the fridge or pantry. We had it with fiddleheads, which are of course in season at the moment. Truthfully, fiddleheads are not my best friends. I find them a little more ‘rustic’, shall we say, than I’m used to. But I’m trying. I want to like them. And so there’s no time like the present, right?
Here is my recipe, which is a variation on the recipe from Orangette, whose site include the cooking instructions as well.
1 large ‘glug’ olive oil
5 medium yellow onions (about 1 ½ lb.), finely chopped
1 cup pearl barley (soaked overnight, if you’re more organized than me)
½ cup basmati rice
1 tsp. salt, plus more for serving