Lentils and spinach

It could be said that I lack a love of lentils. I guess, like most things, it's what you're brought up with that decides our preferences in later life. Now, don't get me wrong, I've cooked with lentils before, mainly in Indian recipes or added to soups and stews, and I do remember using Puy lentils for something or other but for the life of me can't remember what. However, I can't recall actually using them as the main dish of a meal before.

I decided that there must be more to them than meets the eye so thought that I'd better have a go. The sausage in the picture is really a glorified garnish and can be replaced or omitted completely for a Vegetarian, nay Vegan, meal.

I'll get the photo over and done with now; it's not very good; I think that my camera's on the blink. I've had to 'Photoshop' the image to within an inch of its life!

Lentils with sausage

Ingredients
200g Green lentils
1 Large carrot - diced
1 Onion - chopped
1 Stick of celery - diced
2 Cloves of garlic - chopped
Olive oil
1 Bay leaf
1 Litre water or vegetable stock
100 - 150gm spinach - washed
Chopped herbs - I used Parsley and a little thyme
Salt and black pepper
For non-vegetarians
100gms Smoked bacon or ham - in small pieces
The water/vegetable stock can be replaced with chicken stock

Method
In a large pan fry the onion, garlic, celery carrot and bacon (if using) in a little olive oil until the onion is transparent but not browned. Add the lentils and liquid of choice along with the bay leaf and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for about 5 minutes and then simmer it, with the lid off the pan, for a further 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Check occasionally and add more liquid if they look like drying out. By the time they are cooked there should be just a small amount of liquid left. If there's a lot, drain some off. With the back of a spoon mash a small quantity of the lentils into the liquid that's left in the pan to make a creamy sauce. Then add the spinach and herbs and mix. Cook for a further couple of minutes, season, then serve.

This would be nice as part of a vegetarian meal, served with flat-breads, or would go particularly well with Smoked Sausage.


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There are two comments

Foz

A favourite dish in our house, very similar to this is a lentil stew. We don’t use celery, bay leaves or spinach, or sausage but the rest of the recipe is pretty similar. We add some balsamic vinegar and cream to finish and it’s gorgeous!!

Foz, - 17-03-’11 22:27
Phil

Thanks for the tips. I nearly added a little vinegar/lemon to this. Cream and balsamic’s a great idea.

Phil, (Email ) (URL) - 18-03-’11 19:01

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the www.sausagemaking.org forum.

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