I've been reorganizing my pantry and trying to use up the older food. I came across some Umbrian lentils that I bought several years ago. Hmmm... what should I make.
I pulled out "Everyday Greens" by Annie Somerville. I love "Field of Greens", her first cookbook but I haven't made that many items from this book. But it had a wonderful sounding recipe for Braised Lentils.
It was very easy and extremely good. I served it with a pan fried fillet of Salmon. The earthy flavor the lentils are a perfect foil for the oiliness of the salmon.
I didn't have any red wine so I substituted about 1/3 cup of white wine and 3 tbs of balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar works extremely well and adds a good sweet-sour to the recipe.
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced, about 1 cup
salt and pepper
1 tbs minced garlic
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced, about 3/4 cup
2 celery ribs diced about 3/4 cup
1 medium red or yellow pepper, diced about 3/4 cup
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup French Lentils
4 cups cold water
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 fresh sage leaves
Heat the oil in a dutch oven. Add the onion, 1/4 tsp salt and a pinch of pepper. cook over medium heat until they begin to soften, 3-4 minutes. add the garlic, the vegetables, 1/4 tsp salt, a pinch of pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook until the pan is nearly dry, 3-4 minutes. Add the lentils, water, bay leaf, and herbs and simmer until the beans are completely tender, but still hold their shape, 30-35 minutes. The lentils should be saucy, but not soupy. If the broth is thin, cook the lentils longer to reduce it. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.