Simple Braised French Lentils

Posted by Donna-Marie Pye on

(from Feasting At Home by Sylvia Fontaine)
After taking a virtual cheese class from Paris a few weeks ago, I was reminded of how much I miss some of my favourite French dishes. I am a fan of Sylvia's blog and this recipe is so tasty, but also comforting and nourishing. I like to eat it as a side with chicken or fish, but I my favourite is a warm bowl with a poached egg on top. That is comfort for me!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced or 1 large leek, white & light green part, sliced
1 cup celery (or 1 fennel bulb)
1 cup diced carrot
3 to 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups dry green lentils du Puy (or small black lentils - caviar, beluga)
1/4 cup Sherry, red wine, white wine or Marsala (or skip it and add 1 tsp red wine vinegar at the end)
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 tsp salt
4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
2 bay leaves
  1. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and stir 4-5 minutes, then turn heat down to medium. Cook 4-5 more minutes and add the garlic and lentils. Cook 2 minutes stirring.
  2. Add the wine. Let this cook-off, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add stock, salt and mustard; stir until combined and bring to a good simmer. Add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, cover and gently simmer on low heat  25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  4. When the lentils are tender, uncover and cook off any extra liquid ( or feel free to drain). Remove the thyme sprigs, taste and adjust salt.  A tiny little splash of red wine or sherry vinegar livens them up.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Leftovers can be frozen for later use, or refrigerated and made into a salad the next day- adding fresh veggies and a simple vinaigrette.  Or use for breakfast, warmed on toast, with a poached egg and an herby green sauce like gremolata or chimichurri.
Did you enjoy this recipe? We'd love your comments below.

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