The simplest meals are often my favorite. Lentils with Sausage and Spinach comes together without too much fuss and fulfills the need for healthy comfort food.
This dish usually happens when dinner inspiration has gone missing. Or when I didn’t make it to the market as planned. Which happens all too often.
I’ve sort of been in a Fall slump lately and I think it might be because my kids are away at college and there are no little ones to share the beginning of the holiday season. When my kids were little, we would spend an entire weekend decorating the house for fall and for Halloween. Then I’d let the girls choose one Halloween movie to watch each weekend. We’d usually make pizza or their favorite pasta and always Tamale Pie on Halloween night. Weekend mornings I’d make bat and ghost shaped pancakes for breakfast and then we’d launch into Halloween cookie baking.
The only kids at home now are my two fur babies. Tank really doesn’t care about fall festivities unless there is a comfy sofa and tasty bone involved. Gus however, is very happy to accommodate my need to be outside in the falling leaves and brisk cool air.
While I was feeling less than festive last week I whipped up this little dish of comfort. Lentils with Sausage and Spinach seem to always make the day a bit more cozy and delicious. Although I added ground sausage to this dish for a bit more hearty texture, you can certainly keep it vegetarian and add a mix of greens to the dish.
I’ve found the key to making lentils soar with flavor is to add aromatics and herbs while cooking them. This creates the loveliest lentils and a delicious base in which to add additional ingredients.
On occasion I’ll add diced pancetta or cooked bacon rather than sausage. And sometimes I load it up with extra veggies and skip the meat. However you prepare this dish, it’ll warm the heart as well as the belly.
Wishing you a festive and delicious fall season!
Loads of Love,
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 2 cups lentils (I like the French green lentils but any kind will work)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-4 cups of vegetable broth (enough to cover the lentils)
- 1/2 lb cooked ground sausage (optional) You can also use ground chicken or turkey sausage
- 3 handfuls of baby spinach or assorted greens such as kale, chard and mustard greens (about 1 5-ounce package)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shaved Pecorino or Parmesan to garnish
This dish also makes a great side without the sausage. I pair it with hearty roasts or a whole roasted chicken.