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Author Notes: This was the first meal I cooked for my boyfriend, who has kind of strange eating habits. He absolutely loves Field Roast Veggie Sausages, but he eats them just plain. He was pleasantly surprised by how I combined spices, including smoked paprika, to rev up one of his favorite foods. If you eat meat, this is also great with a link of regular meat sausage. —Cara Eisenpress
- 1 cup dried black lentils
- 3 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 1 chopped roughly in thirds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 veggie sausage or sausage, cut into thin half moons
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- dashes cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 cup red wine
- Pick over the lentils for any bad ones, then rinse them in a couple changes of water. Put them in a small pot with about 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and the garlic that is roughly chopped. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer, partially covered, for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are soft but not at all mushy. Drain any excess water. If you're doing this ahead of time, refrigerate the lentils; otherwise, set them aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large, cast-iron skillet. Add the sausage and let the pieces brown and crisp. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan, then put in the onions, sauté a few minutes, then add the carrots and the minced garlic. When everything is soft, add the paprika, thyme, and salt, cook for a minute. Add the lentils.
- Pour in the cup of red wine and bring to a simmer. When the liquid is nearly completely reduced, 5-10 minutes, add the sausage back in. Simmer another few minutes until the liquid is evaporated, taste for seasonings, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
- Serve with toasted slices of fresh whole wheat bread, with simple steamed spinach or broccoli on the side.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Paprika
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