Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions
Adapted from Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
6 Tablespoons olive oil (don't skimp, as the oil provides lots of flavor)
1 very large onion or 2-3 medium sized onions sliced into rounds 1/4-inch thick
1 1/4 cups green or brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
Salt and freshly milled pepper
3/4 cup white or brown long-grain rice
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is a rich, dark brown, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the lentils in a saucepan with 1 quart water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Add the rice and plenty of pepper, and, if needed, additional water to cover. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is done, about 15 minutes. Stir in about 2/3 of the onions. Add more salt and pepper to taste (a strong peppery flavor is good in this dish). Spoon the lentil-rice mixture onto plates or a platter and cover with the remaining onions.
This humble dish is delicious, very inexpensive, and as healthy as they get. You might want to accompany it with a cucumber salad or other vegetable salad dressed with a parsley and lemon dressing.