The Food Network is my favorite channel hands down. I always have it turned on either to watch one of my favorite shows like Barefoot Contessa or as background noise. So when it came around to my birthday this January I shouldn’t have been surprised when I received cookbooks as gifts (thank you Kyle and Allegra). One that I received was Barefoot Contessas’s How Easy is That cookbook, and let me tell you it’s “fabulous” as Ina would say. The book is full of appetizers, vegetable dishes, main dishes and desserts. I could look through this book over and over again and never get bored. The layout of the book is designed so well and put together with gorgeous pictures of the food, shots from her house, and table settings.
I’ve been dying to make one of the dishes and decided I would start with one I thought my fellow Spartans would enjoy…lentils. The lentils called for in this recipe were French green Le Puy lentils. They are known as humble peasant food, aka a poor man’s caviar. These lentils are interesting, they are grown without watering or fertilizing, and it is the rich volcanic soil in Southern France that gives them so much flavor and nutritional value. With that being said, I went to Meijer to get my ingredients for this and couldn’t find them so I simply bought Meijer brand lentils. I thought it was so delish but by the sounds of the Le Puy lentils it could have been better. My suggestion if you want to make it with those is to go to Foods for Living.
Making the lentils was easy (duh, that’s the title of the book) and there wasn’t much to it. Just boil them with onion and turnips and combine all the other ingredients! Ina suggests in the winter serving with sausage so that is exactly what I did. I sautéd up some turkey sausage with garlic (make sure to put in the garlic at the last minute otherwise they will burn) and served on top!
2 tbs plus ¼ cup olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 carrots, scrubbed and ½-inch-diced
1 tsp minced garlic 1 cup French green Le Puy lentils (or Meijer brand lentils)
1 whole onion, peeled and cut in half
1 white turnip, cut in half
1 tsp unsalted butter
4 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Directions Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan, add the leek and carrots, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the lentils, 4 cups of water, the onion, and the turnip in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the leek and carrots, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove and discard the onion and turnip and drain the lentils place them in a medium bowl and add the butter. Meanwhile, whisk together the ¼ cup of olive oil, the mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add to the lentils, stir well, and allow the lentils to cool until just warm, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with slat and pepper and serve. The longet the lentils sit, the more slat and pepper you’ll want to add.