Lentils with Swiss Chard and Khlea
Khlea is preserved lamb or beef, used to flavor a variety of Moroccan dishes. Tiny light brown lentils—whole Indian masoor or Spanish pardena lentils are a good substitute—give this dish its creamy texture.
10 pieces Khlea
1 1⁄2 cups small brown lentils
3⁄4 lb. Swiss chard
2 medium red onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp. Seven-Spice Mixture
2 fresh plum tomatoes, cut in 1⁄2" dice
1⁄4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Scrape solidified oil from khlea and reserve 2 tbsp. Shred meat coarsely and soak in water to cover in a small bowl.
2. Pick over and rinse lentils. Place in a large, heavy saucepan, cover with water, and slowly bring almost to a boil. Drain lentils and return to saucepan. Add 2 1⁄2 cups cold water and gently simmer over very low heat for 20 minutes, skimming any foam. Meanwhile, separate ribs from chard leaves and roughly chop both. Add to lentils and simmer for another 20 minutes. Lentils should be tender and have absorbed most of the water. Pour off excess liquid and set lentil mixture aside.
3. Heat reserved oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, a pinch of salt, and spice mixture, and cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in drained khlea, tomatoes, 1⁄8 cup of the parsley, and 1⁄4 cup of the cilantro.
4. Add lentil mixture to skillet and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Top with remaining 1⁄8 cup parsley and 1⁄4 cup cilantro and serve.