Thursday, July 3, 2008
Growing up next door to my Italian grandmother, I ate lentils quite a bit. This dish reminds me of something she would really like.
The recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa in Paris cookbook.
You will need some chicken stock, 3 carrots, 4 ribs of celery, 4 leeks, 3 cloves of garlic, tomato paste, a large onion, some fresh thyme, and some lentils.
The lentils should be the small French variety. They are kind of greenish, gray in color, and smaller than regular lentils.
Put about a 1/2 lb. of the dry lentils in a heat proof bowl.
Cover them with boiling water & let them sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, take the leeks, and thinly slice the white & light green parts.
Leeks have lots of grit on them. So, soak & rinse them thoroughly.
Next, dice about 2 cups of onion & place in a bowl.
Add the drained leeks, about 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves,
a teaspoon of kosher salt, and some pepper. Set aside.
In another bowl combine the 3 carrots, diced,
the 4 stalks of celery, diced,
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock,
and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
Drain the lentils,
and add them as well.
Heat a 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
Add the leek mixture & saute for about 10 minutes.
While the leeks are cooking, mince the garlic. You should have about 2 tablespoons.
Add the garlic & saute another 2 minutes.
Then add the lentil mixture.
Stir to combine & bring the liquid to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, and cover. Cook the lentils for about 20 minutes. Or until they are tender, but not falling apart. You don't want to let them lose their shape & turn to mush.
These lentils taste great as a side to anything.