* 1 cup (about ½ pound) brown lentils.
* 1¼ pounds onions, thinly sliced (5 cups)
* 4 tbsp well-flavored extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
* 1 cup long-grain white rice
* ½ tsp ground cumin
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 8 large red bell peppers (choose peppers that are unblemished, sturdy, and thick-walled).
* 4-5 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
* 3-4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional, for garnish (optional).
* 2 tsp chopped garlic
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 1 pound fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped, or fine-quality Italian canned tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional accompaniments for dairy meals:
Yogurt cream or Labneh, seasoned perhaps with minced scallions, chives, or other fresh herbs.
1. Pick over the lentils carefully, discarding any stray objects or discolored beans, and rinse well in cold water. Drain, combine them in a large saucepan with 1 quart of fresh cold water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt to taste about 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Turn off the heat, and leave the lentils in the saucepan, covered, until you are ready to add the rest of the mujadderah ingredients.
2. While the lentils are cooking, in a 10-12 inches heavy skillet, saut