Green Chile Lentil Vegetable Enchiladas

Delicious.

Green Chile Lentil Enchiladas....ready for the oven, or the freezer.

Green Chile Lentil Enchiladas….ready for the oven, or the freezer.

 

For the filling, you will need:

  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 3 cups water (or to cover by about 2 inches
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf, optional
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons chile
  • 1 9-ounce box of spinach, kale or other mixed greens (6 to 8 cups, loosely packed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion or leeks
  • 1 four-ounce can of diced green chiles
  • 1 medium or 2 or 3 small zucchini (squash is good, also)
  • Approximately 8 ounces of boursin-pepper cheese, or pepper goat cheese
  • 12 to 14 medium size (fajita size – 6 to 8-inches) flour tortillas

For the sauce, you will need:

  •  1 14.5 ounce can green enchilada sauce (if you make your own – you will need approximately 2 cups)
  • 1 cup sour cream

For the final toppings, you will need:

  •  A nice melting cheese to add to the inside of the enchiladas, and/or on top. Butterkase, Havarti, Fontina, or a nice Mexican white cheese (or any combination thereof) would all be nice additions
  • Green Onions, diced for the final garnish, optional

 

Method:

Prepare the lentils:

  1. Rinse the lentils and pick through. The one time you don’t check the lentils is the one time you bite down on a rock (or a guest does), and ends up having emergency dental work.
  2. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan, and cover with water. Add the bay leaf and the salt (optional), and ground cumin, and bring to boil.  Reduce to a simmer, and simmer for about 25 to 40 minutes.  If you are using regular brown lentils, watch carefully and test for doneness, as they will “blow-out” and lose their pretty shape.
  3. I used the French green lentils which hold their shape pretty well, and also soften well. Also good are the black beluga lentils, but they are much pricier and harder to come by.
  4. Once the lentils are done, set aside and let cool. Before draining, taste a few and make sure that they are soft enough for your taste. Then drain and return to the cooking pot or a small bowl.  When the lentils have cooled, add the chile powder (guajillo, anaheim or regular chili powder) and the diced green chiles. Note:  Instead of draining the whole pot, I usually remove them using a slotted spoon to see what the yield is.  If the yield is too much, I have some of the juice to have a little soup.

Prepare the zucchini and the greens:

  1. While the lentils are cooking, prepare the zucchini and the sautéed greens. In a medium skillet, sauté the chopped onion or leek in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the diced zucchini and sauté till tender.  When done, remove from the skillet to prepare the greens.
  2. In the same skillet that you cooked the zucchini in, add all of the spinach (or kale or swiss chard or escarole, whatever is available or in season. Saute the greens on medium till they start to wilt.  Do not overcook, as they will get more baking time in the oven.  This is just to wilt them to get them to fit in the enchiladas.  You can leave the greens in the skillet, or transfer them to a smaller bowl to assemble the enchiladas.
  3. Make the topping sauce by combining one can of green enchilada sauce with one cup of sour cream in a small bowl.  Set aside.

 

Assemble the enchiladas and bake:

  1. To assemble the enchiladas, lay out about 6 soft tortillas (or as many as will fit on your workspace), and spread a few teaspoons of the boursin cheese down the middle of each one.
  2. Top with about ¼ to a 1/3 cup of the well-drained lentils.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of the sautéed zucchini, just enough to cover one layer.
  4. Top with a thin layer of the wilted greens.
  5. At this point, if you want to add more cheese (your choice), salt or pepper, do so before wrapping the enchiladas.
  6. Place the rolled enchiladas in a casserole dish or two (1 large or 2 small), seam side down, and pour the green enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Spread evenly with a spatula.
  7. Top with more a finishing cheese, such as Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Cheddar or a Mexican melting cheese. I had some Cabot cheddar that needed to be used up, and it was really good here.
  8. Bake the lentil enchiladas for about 35 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees, until the béchamel is puffy and lightly browned on top.
  9. After baking, the enchiladas do freeze well. Or, make them in two smaller casserole dishes, and freeze one after baking for the future.  To reheat the baked, frozen enchiladas, remove from the freezer 24 hours in advance, and reheat for 25 to 30 minutes at 350. Keep wrapped in foil to prevent drying out.  It will just take a little bit longer to bake from a completely frozen state.

These made a really great freezer dish, ready to pop into the oven on any given day!

Adding the chile powder...

Adding the chile powder…

 

Adding the canned green chile's...

Adding the canned green chile’s…

 

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Green Chile Lentil Enchiladas....ready for the oven, or the freezer.

Green Chile Lentil Enchiladas….ready for the oven, or the freezer.

 

 

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