Judy Rodgers' Lentils Braised in Red Wine

November  5, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 4 cups
Author Notes

Very lightly adapted from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. —Nicholas Day

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/4 cups lentils (ideally the du puy type)
  • 1 or 2 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups water, chicken stock, or a combination
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. In a medium-sized pan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat and add the carrots, celery, and onions, along with a few pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes.
  2. Raise the heat slightly and add the lentils, bay leaf, thyme (if using), the wine, and a cup of the water or stock. When the lentils begin to simmer, lower the heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, and adding small amounts of additional water or stock as each is absorbed. After about a half-hour, the finished lentils should be nutty but tender and just slightly wet. (You may have water or stock left over.) Salt to taste. Drizzle with the final tablespoons of olive oil and cook for another minute, then serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Terri
  • Joseph Rice
    Joseph Rice
  • Michael Hernandez
    Michael Hernandez
  • frizz
I'm the author of a book on the science and history of infancy, Baby Meets World. My website is nicholasday.net; I tweet over at @nicksday. And if you need any good playdoh recipes, just ask.

14 Reviews

maggiecain March 25, 2023
If I don't want to use wine (don't always have an open bottle), I wonder if I could substitute an extra 3/4 cup of broth along with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Do any of you experienced foodies think that would be good?
Regio7 March 24, 2023
I love the simplicity of this recipe and its implications for our health and our planet. Have yet to try it but as a lover of lentils I’m sure to do so soon. I suspect a dash of maple syrup might appeal to many, added during the last phase of preparation. I’ll try it out for sure❣️
overthehills March 24, 2023
You can use vegetable broth as a complete and perfect substitute for chicken broth to make this recipe completely plant-based and climate friendly.
Terri January 8, 2019
I've tried this recipe twice. Neither time did the lentils cook fully or soften. The second time I more than doubled the cooking time, but lentils still did not cook to softened. The flavor is fantastic, but something is missing in my process. Open to suggestions...
Happygoin January 8, 2019
Terri, I wonder if you bought old lentils? Like beans, if they're old, they may be stale and may not cook fully, no matter how long you cook them. Try buying French Du Puy (or at least French) green lentils from a place with good turnover. Do you have a Whole Foods in your area? That may be a good place to try looking. And don't give up! It's probably not your fault :)
[email protected] March 24, 2023
If the lentils are the round hard one rather than the flat discs which cook more quickly I like to soak them for any number of hours (6-12) prior to using even fir soups do that they are more chewy and less hard.
Jacque January 31, 2018
Quick, easy and tasty! Definitely use the du puy lentils - so much better than the larger ones you usually find. I mixed in some canned chunk tuna when eating the leftovers.
Happygoin November 26, 2014
I enjoyed lentils prepared like this recently with a nice slice of country ham perched on top. It was a casual, but delicious dinner!
Joseph R. November 12, 2014
Can you make and freeze/reheat!
Carmencita November 9, 2014
These were fantastic! I loved that they were still a little bit crunchy at the end. I added a little leftover pesto I had lying around and some chopped walnuts to bring out the nutty, wine-y flavor. Thank you for the great idea.
Michael H. November 7, 2014

This is one of my favorite dishes that has lentils as a side. Doesn't have to be chicken with berbere, of course, but I think the crispy chicken goes quite well with lentils!
frizz November 6, 2014
I like lentils, but on their own they are a little boring. I have a partner who loves them. What would you pair this dish with that could make us both happy?
Regio7 March 24, 2023
Fresh fig, walnut and goat’s cheese salad, balsamic vinegar (high quality) and oil for a dressing.
Allen4Know March 24, 2023
A salmon steak, broiled or baked, would be fantastic, quick, and easy.