Gravy. It's What's For Dinner.

Miso-Lentil Gravy with Brown Rice, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Garden Salad and Jalapeno Salsa

Ever wished you could just make a meal of a bowl of gravy, with maybe some bread or rice? Us too! And we've been doing something about it at Cafe Drake HRV, indulging this comfort food fantasy since discovering Isa Moskowitz's extraordinary recipe for a lentil and miso-based gravy. A gravy so flavorful, so silky and rich, we suspect non-vegetarians would happily choose it over a meat-based version at any Thanksgiving dinner. Our only addition was a bit more spice and a splash of sherry, but feel free to leave out both the smoked paprika and jalapeno powders. It's beyond scrumptious either way.

Over medium heat, add 1 T. of olive oil to a saucepan along with 1 diced onion and 3 cloves of chopped garlic. Sprinkle with salt and cook until the onion is just brown. Now add 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown or green or balck lentils (rinsed and drained canned lentils are fine), 3/4 t. dried sage, 2 t. smoked paprika and 1/2 t. dried, ground jalapeno powder. Cook for about a minute and then season with freshly ground black pepper. Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Add to the blender 1 cup full-flavored, rich vegetable stock (homemade or not) and puree until very, very smooth.

Pour the puree back into the saucepan and stir in a slurry made from 1/2 cup water and 1 1/2 T. cornstarch. Over low heat stir in 2 T. dark or red miso and 1/4 cup dry sherry. You'll need to stir aggressively to dissolve and incorporate all of the miso paste. Heat through until hot but not quite simmering and adjust for seasoning, possibly adding more salt. Remember, gravy should be bold in flavor!

Serve with just about anything. 


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