CSA Week 1 Recipe: Rhubarb and Red Lentil Daal with Chicken and Broccoli


June 10, 2012 by Sara Kreidler

CSA week 1’s featured item is rhubarb. I know that everyone loves to make sweet things with rhubarb — pies, crumbles and the like. But we’re not huge sweets eaters, and would rather use our rhubarb to make something savory for dinner.

We made rhubarb and red lentil daal last year with our CSA rhubarb, and this year we revisited the recipe and added some broccoli and chicken, and served everything in big bowls over white rice. Note that you can make this vegetarian by simply omitting the chicken.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 4 stalks rhubarb, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and season liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drizzle with olive oil, then massage olive oil and seasoning all over the chicken. Bake chicken for about 20-25 minutes (time will vary depending upon the size of the chicken breasts.  When finished, remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing.
  3. While the chicken is baking, combine all of the remaining ingredients except the butter, cilantro, rice and broccoli in a medium sized pot and add enough water to cover by about 1 inch.  Bring to a simmer over medium flame, cover partially and cook until the lentils are soft, about 20-30 minutes.  Season with salt.  Keep an eye on the lentils while they’re cooking; if they look like they’re getting too dry, add a little more water.
  4. While the lentils and chicken are cooking, combine 1 1/2 cups white rice with three cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook over low flame for about 15 minutes, keeping an eye on it around the 12 minute mark to make sure it’s not getting too dry (some rice cooks faster than others, so keep in mind that your cooking time might differ from mine).  Fluff rice with a fork before serving.
  5. While the chicken, lentils and rice are cooking, cut the broccoli into florets; reserve the thick stalk for another use. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Drop the broccoli into the water and boil for about 4-5 minutes or until the broccoli is tender but not mushy.
  6. When the lentils are done cooking, remove pot from the stove and remove and discard the cloves and cardamom.  Stir in the butter and cilantro, taste test and season with more salt if needed.
  7. To serve, place white rice in the bottom of a large bowl.  Ladle lentils over the rice, and top with broccoli and chicken.

Note: if you have fresh rhubarb but want to preserve it for later use, you can do so very easily. Rinse it, cut it into 1 inch pieces, boil it for 1 minute, drain it, shock it in ice water until cool, drain it again, then transfer to freezer bags and freeze for later use. Thawed rhubarb works perfectly well in rhubarb daal recipe above, for example.


One thought on “CSA Week 1 Recipe: Rhubarb and Red Lentil Daal with Chicken and Broccoli

  1. […] the first two weeks of the CSA, I received 4 enormous bundles of rhubarb. We used some to make rhubarb and red lentil daal, a favorite meal of ours this time of year, but still had a ton of stalks left over. There are lots […]

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