The Perfect Pot of Lentils

By • January 14, 2014 • 4 Comments

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Author Notes: A bowl of lentils, something green, and an egg is my go to comfort food. It is quick (even at high altitude), easy, and I usually have everything on hand. It is great as is and I have often turned the leftovers into burgers the following day. Despite having cooked this dish dozens of times, I have never had an actual recipe and decided to write it down.savorthis

Serves 4

  • 4 eggs (optional)
  • 3 bacon slices, thinly sliced
  • 1 small head broccoli (or bunch of hearty greens), stems diced, florets cut into medium pieces
  • 1/2 cup carrots, small dice
  • 1/2 cup shallots, small dice (onion works too)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup tangerine/clementine/orange juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked through
  1. If using eggs, fill a medium pot with 1/2 inch of water and bring to a boil. Gently add eggs, cover and steam at a gentle simmer for 6 1/2 minutes. Have ice water ready. When done, place eggs in ice water, empty pot and return to medium heat. Peel the eggs and keep them in a bowl of warm water.
  2. Brown bacon and remove to a bowl with all but 1T fat. If you wish, you can brown broccoli florets in fat briefly, then set aside (I really love a toasted broccoli). If not, you can add the broccoli in at the end. Pour a touch more fat from the bacon into the pot to cook the carrots and shallot until beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Add wine and orange juice and cook until almost completely evaporated. Add lentils, broth and bay leaf, bring to a boil, then simmer gently. At high altitude, it often takes about 45 minutes for lentils to cook, but it might be only 20-30 minutes for you. Check after about 15 minutes to see where you are. Add the broccoli stems and florets (or greens) when the broth is almost completely absorbed to steam for about 5 minutes. If the lentils are still crunchy but the liquid is gone, add a bit of water.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dish up a hearty scoop of lentils and top with an egg. Serve with some fabulous buttered toast.
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11 months ago Moira Riley

I made this for dinner last night. It was pretty good. I needed a bit more liquid in mine. It was unclear to me when I should add the bacon back into the dish. Also, I wasn't sure about the instruction for cooking the OJ and wine until almost evaporated, did you mean that the liquid should be reduced... or that the alcohol should be evaporated? Otherwise I think it is a nice recipe, I like that it seemed like a complete meal. I also liked that it had both and orange and green vegetables. It was also very filling.

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11 months ago savorthis

Thank you for your comments and I'm glad you liked it. When I am able to edit the recipe again I will clarify on those steps, but in the meantime here are a couple answers. Yes- liquid will vary which is why I usually test any pot of beans/legumes several times to adjust. 2:1 is my basic ratio to start with. I put the bacon back into the pot with the broth and I cook down the wine and orange juice together until it has almost evaporated.

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11 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love this sort of dinner, and that is the prettiest egg EVER!

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11 months ago savorthis

Ha! Thanks. Verging on cliché these days, but who can resist the egg beauty shot?