This recipe brings together the “beef steak” of the vegetable world with some very flavorful components in a dish lusty enough to go with a rich red wine like Pinot Noir or Merlot. The lentils and tomato broth can be made a day or two ahead and reheated in a snap just before serving. When I’m really going all out, I deep-fry some thinly sliced parsnips for just one more flavor and texture note in the garnish.
Prepare a Charcoal fire or preheat a gas or stovetop grill. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and scrape out the black gills. Whisk together the olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and a light seasoning of salt and pepper, and lightly brush the mushrooms and kale with this mixture. Grill the kale leaves over medium-high heat until soft, lightly browned, and crispy around the edges. Set aside. Grill the mushrooms on both sides until just cooked through but still firm.
To serve, arrange the grilled kale leaves in a shallow, wide-rimmed bowl, along with a heaping spoonful or two of Lentils. Slice the mushrooms on the bias, and arrange them on top. Spoon the Spicy Tomato Broth in a ring around the Lentils and kale. Serve immediately.
© 2004 John Ash. All rights reserved.