This is another one pan weeknight wonder that happens to also be elegant enough for Saturday dinner. Plus, it represents all that I love about spring meals; fresh and bright flavors, light but filling, and another excuse to use asparagus. Although broccoli works just as well if asparagus is not in season where you live.
One pan meals loosely fall under one of two categories. Either everything cooks together at once, such as a stir-fry or soup. Or components are layered in at different points in the cooking process. This lentil dish falls under the second category. Green lentils are given a 15 minute head start to cook, then shrimp and asparagus are layered in to steam for 5 minutes. Off the heat, toppings are added as the final layer. Since the dish is arranged and served directly from the pan, make sure to use a wide, deep skillet to ensure room for each layer to spread out both for quick-cooking and presentation.
When using minimal ingredients, I try to coax out the most robust, rounded flavor possible. Here I use lemon two ways. Zest is added along with dill and feta for brightness at the end. And juice is added to the water at the beginning, resulting in a mellow, sweet citrus flavor that infuses the lentils and broth.
One Pan Lemony Lentils with Asparagus, Shrimp & Feta
Notes: This could feed four if served with bread and a side salad. Recipe calls for soaked green lentils. In addition to improved digestibility, soaking the lentils shortens cooking time. Non-soaked lentils will require more water and a longer cook time, which I don't account for in the recipe. If asparagus are not in season, use broccoli instead. Shrimp pictured are small because I couldn't find the medium size this time (of course). But medium are recommended.
- 1 cup (205 gr) green lentils, preferably soaked overnight
- 3 cups (750 ml) water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Zest + juice of 1 medium lemon
- 1 bunch asparagus, sliced in thirds
- 250 gr. medium shrimp, shelled + deveined
- Small handful (10 gr.) dill, chopped
- Feta, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Zest lemon and reserve for finished dish.
- Rinse and drain soaked lentils. Add to a wide, high-sided saute pan along with water, salt, red pepper flakes, and juice from 1/2 lemon. Place over high heat, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a strong simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Add asparagus and shrimp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and steam 5 minutes, or until asparagus are bright green and shrimp are pink and just cooked through.
- Finish with another squeeze of lemon, reserved lemon zest, chopped dill, crumbled feta, and black pepper to taste. Serve directly from pan.