Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit with Mujadara and Lebanese Salata
Hope in the Dark is definitely an inspirational read. And although I read it during MLK week, I have delayed posting my corresponding review of it, because I was at a loss as to how to pair the concept of hope with a recipe. I toyed with trying a souffle, because that would certainly require a lot of hope on my part. And since Solnit’s whole premise on hope is that it needs to be a call for action, I also toyed with menus that required an active role on the part of the guests — spring rolls perhaps, or sushi.
But it wasn’t until the first of the month that the idea came to me like a firestorm, with the birth of my niece’s new baby girl. Because what gives me more hope in the future, than the next generation? For those born today will hopefully view the world with fresh eyes, while also learning from our own past mistakes. What better hope do I have in the future than in the sweet snuggles of a new baby? She is our future. And I trust that she will carry with her all the empathy and compassion of her mother and father. May she grow up, recognizing the need for action in order to ensure the hope of a positive future.
So this recipe is in honor of my niece Hayley and her beautiful new baby girl, in appreciation for all the wonderful meals we shared at our favorite Mediterranean restaurant in Highland Square. Congratulations. I thank you for giving me hope in our future. Enjoy.
Mujadara with Lebanese Salute
• 2 to 3 large onions , sliced
• 2 to 3 Tb olive oil
• 2 cups lentils
• 1 cup basmati rice
• 4 cups vegetable broth
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 to 2 tsp cumin or garam masala
- In a 3 quart saucepan, combine lentils, rice, broth, water, and cumin to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all the water has been absorbed and the rice and lentils are tender.
- In a pan, caramelize the sliced onions – stir and cook for at least twenty minutes until they are dark brown with some nice blackened bits on the edges.
- Add the cooked rice and lentils into the pan with the caramelized onions and stir to combine.
• 1 large tomato, chopped
• 1 large English cucumber, chopped
• 1 bunch scallions, chopped
• Small bunch parsley, chopped
• 2 to 3 Tb olive oil
• 2 to 3 Tb red wine vinegar
• Coarse sea salt
- Chop tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, and parsley. Toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar and coarse sea salt.
- Top mujadara with salata.