Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Red Wine Lentils with Herbs

This is a big old bowl full of comfort. I absolutely love lentils—the boy, however, does not, so I rarely make them. This lentil recipe filled with greens and packed with flavors made me do it. I made it for lunch one day last week and happily ate it for several days more. It also reminded me how much I adore arugula and I found myself eating it up by the raw handful every time I dipped into the fridge. I hope you'll give it a try. While I really like brown lentils when they turn a bit mushy, French green lentils are really best in this recipe as they're firmer texture melds well with the wilted greens and herbs. I substituted sour cream for the crème fraîche and it worked out just perfectly.

Red Wine Lentils with Herbs

1 1/2 cups French green lentils (12 ounces)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 packed cup baby spinach (2 ounces)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
4 lightly packed cups mâche (2 ounces) or arugula
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Freshly ground pepper

In a large saucepan, cover the lentils with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and simmer over moderate heat until tender, 40 minutes. Drain the lentils.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the red onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lentils and the wine and simmer until the wine has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche. Add the mâche, parsley and cilantro and cook until barely wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.

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