Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Friendly ideas

I was talking books with a fellow foodie from work today, and she inserted a sidebar about what she made for dinner last night. Imagine how excited I was when 1. It sounded delicious, and 2. I realized I had everything I needed to make it. As soon as I got home I pulled the ingredients out of their respective homes and got to work. The kitchen smelled amazing immediately, and dinner was ready in less than an hour. Thanks, Amy!

I did take pictures. I will post them (I'm on the iPAD and don't have a compatible USB) but I should warn you that they absolutely don't do the meal justice. Just trust me and go out and make this.

I'll include vegetarian options, too.

Lentils with Italian Sausages and Potatoes
Serves 5

1/4 c olive oil
5 Italian sausages (pork, chicken, or turkey are fine, or omit)
1/2 to whole yellow onion*, quartered, peeled, and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 lb. Potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced (optional-I didn't use b/c I wanted dinner quickly)
2 stalks celery, diced (optional-see carrots)
3/4 - 1 1/2 c lentils (I used the smaller French green, but it doesn't really matter)
15 oz can diced no-salt tomatoes (or whatever size the can has shrunk to these days)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 c dry red wine (optional, could add a shot of balsamic at the end instead)
3 c chicken or vegetable broth, or water (up this to 4 - 5 if using more lentils)
3-5 c shredded greens (I used raddichio, but kale, mustard,chard, broccoli Rabe, etc would be good here)
Grated pecorino romano cheese

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. If using, brown sausages on all sides, about
5 minutes. Add in onion through celery and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add lentils through liquid and stir. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes. (I let ours go for about 35 minutes because we walked the dogs. The sauce reduced nicely, but your call.)
3. Stir in the greens and let cook through. The more tender greens like raddichio and chard will take less than five minutes; the others probably closer to ten.
4. Spoon into bowls, sprinkle with cheese, and serve hot. You might want bread to mop up the juices...
* The larger veggie portions are for if you're making this vegetarian (or if you need to serve more than five people; you can cut the sausages up)

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