What a summer it’s been. Another move, a bit of travel, family visits, lots of delicious recipes tested and photographed, a new driver in the family, our college student returning to the city soon and Tank and I found new trails to run, cows and chickens to photograph and juicy ripe blackberries to snack on while we’re supposed to be running. I think Tank loves the blackberry breaks more than me.
Life is in perpetual motion and although this is a good thing, there are moments I need to put on the brakes, settle into a comfy chair and enjoy a quiet moment. Hopefully with something tasty to sip – and always with a good book. This does not happen often enough unfortunately, but today, I find myself scheming to find that moment in the near future. I think you should to! My little soapbox speech for the day. 🙂
I’m in a bit of a sassy mood (can you tell?) and in honor of my sassiness, I’m posting this sassy little French lentil recipe. Lentils have never thrilled my culinary taste buds – they’ve always just been there. A side dish or ingredient that has useful qualities. Mashed and blended with other exciting ingredients into lentil cakes or stirred into soups and stews to create a hearty texture. Sometimes I’ll toss them into salads for extra texture and protein but I think I love them best prepared in the French style.
This is a recipe I can get excited about. Layering flavor after flavor and then combining all those lush flavors with the lentils and summer vegetables makes for the loveliest entrée or side dish. This dish is so simple and so delicious, I often pair it with grilled salmon or steak. My oldest gal adores this dish a la carte, 0ften taking the leftovers for lunch.
So, my friends, plan a quiet moment with something tasty to sip, a good book… and make yourself some Sassy French Lentils.
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
Sassy French Lentils
I use organic canned lentils for time sake, but feel free to use dried lentils that have been cooked.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 3 inch sprig rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 cup diced summer tomatoes (or canned)
1 15 ounce can organic lentils or 2 cups cooked lentils
1 teaspoon Dijon or stone ground mustard (optional)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Add ins: sliced roasted or grilled summer squash and zucchini, eggplant, green beans, corn and any other summer vegetable you adore, just stir them in or layer them on top of the finished dish. If preparing this dish Fall/Winter I love to stir in diced roasted sweet potato or butternut squash.
In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat and when it’s hot, but not smoking, add the onions, anchovies, carrots and celery. Sauté until the veggies are nice and soft.
Then stir in the garlic and sauté for one minute longer.
Next stir in the rosemary, thyme, Italian parsley, oregano, tomatoes and lentils. Let them heat through and then simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove the sprig of rosemary and then stir in the Dijon or stone ground mustard, squeeze of lemon juice (about a teaspoon), and drizzle of olive oil. Continue to simmer on low for another 5-8 minutes.
Take them off the heat and let them sit covered while you prepare the rest of your meal. Or let them sit for about 5 minutes to allow all the flavors to meld together. Taste for seasoning before serving.
If you are pairing the lentils with veggies, ladle the lentils onto a platter and then top with the veggies. If using diced roasted sweet potato or butternut squash, I like to gently fold those into the lentils and then ladle onto a platter.
Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and dollops of plain Greek yogurt.
Serve with lemon wedges if desired.