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Author Notes: I love lentils for their earthy flavor and I love French (or green) lentils for their toothiness. In other words, they don't melt. This is my version of a recipe for barbecued lentils, Not Afraid of Flavor, by Ben and Karen Barker, the owner/chefs of a wonderful restaurant, Magnolia Grill, in Durham, NC. These folks know something about flavor! —Nora
Serves 8-10 as a side dish
French Lentils with Rainbow Chard
- 3 cups cooked French lentils
- 1/3 cup diced onion
- 1/3 cup diced celery
- 1/3` cups diced carrot
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- stems from 1 bunch of rainbow chard, diced
- Variations: use in addition to or instead of the above: leeks, fennel, parsnips
- olive oil
- 1/4 cup medium white wine
- Vegetable stock
- Leaves from 1 bunch of rainbow chard, shredded
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce or ketchup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon honey or other sweetener, more to taste
- dashes Worchestershire sauce, more to taste
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Dried thyme to taste
- Saute all the diced vegetables in olive oil until beginning to caramelize. Add the wine and let it cook off.
- Add the cooked lentils, the stock (enough to almost cover the lentils), the salt and pepper, the thyme, and the Worchestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. If there is still a lot of broth, simmer another 10 minutes or ladle off some broth.
- While the lentils and vegetables simmer, shred the chard leaves, rinse them, and steam or saute them.
- Stir the tender chard leaves into the lentil mixture and take off the heat.
- Add the tomato sauce or ketchup, vinegar, and honey or other sweetener. Stir and taste. Add more of any of the seasonings until it tastes right.
- Serve at room temperature. Just before serving, taste and season again, if necessary.
- I have made this with other shredded and cooked greens, with caramelized onions, with roasted cauliflower, with roasted sweet potatoes cut into small bits. Think of the lentils as a blank canvas. As I type this, I'm imagining adding toasted nuts just before serving, or some dried fruit.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Lentils
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegetarian Holiday Side