Monday, January 25, 2016

Yellow & French Lentils with Wilted Greens

Now that we're deep into the cold, gray winter months out here in Illinois, I've been trying to make meals that use what's in my pantry, as I did last week with pumpkin and pasta.

This week, lentils are on the menu. I have several bags – French, yellow and red. I thought of Amy's Soul-Soothing Red Lentil Stew. So pretty, hearty and healthy, lentils could be just the ticket for a cozy dinner.

My original meal plans for the week included sautéing some sausage with a bag of greens. Why not add some lentils into the mix, right? I looked around at various online lentil recipes to give me some ideas – and Yellow & French Lentils with Wilted Greens was born. I served this with a side of cajun sausage links to please my boys. If you have any leftovers, the lentils taste great cold, too.

Mangia! Mangia!

Yellow & French Lentils with Wilted Greens
Inspired by this recipe from The Kitchn.

1/2 cup French (green) lentils
1/2 cup yellow lentils
2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1/2 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried, rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 13 ounce bag mixed greens (kale, spinach, collard, etc.)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 bunch green onions, chopped

Put lentils and chicken broth into a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook lentils for about 25 minutes, or until softened. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside. Do not drain.

In a large pan or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-high heat until just crisp. Drain fat out of the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon of grease. Add onions, garlic, rosemary, sage and ground pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened.

Lower heat to medium. Add lentils and any remaining stock into the bacon and onion mixture in the Dutch oven. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Add greens to Dutch oven and cover for 2 minutes. Remove cover and stir, incorporating greens into lentils. Continue to cook and stir until all greens are wilted. Remove from heat, partially cover and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, mustard and balsamic vinegar to make a dressing.

Serve lentils and greens warm, topped with dressing and sliced green onions.

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