Friday, October 17, 2008

Warm Balsamic Lentils

Warm Balsamic Lentils
Adapted from Anita Stewart’s Canada

Prep time: 30 minutes if you’re starting with dried lentils, 5 minutes or so if you’re using canned
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
Serves 3-4


3 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
¼ cup celery (I actually used very young celery from the market and used the leaves as well)
¼ cup sweet red pepper, finely diced
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp red chili pepper flakes (you can always add more at the end if you like it hotter)
1 can (19oz/540ml) lentils, drained or 2 cups cooked lentils
2-3 tbsp “high quality local vinegar”…I’m lucky enough to actually be within driving distance of the Boates orchards and absolutely love their balsamic style cider vinegar


If you plan on starting with dry lentils, I recommend du Puy lentils. They’re small but hold their shape during cooking. One cup of dry will make at least 2 cups of cooked.
1 cup lentils, picked over for stones, etc.
1 clove garlic, peeled and bruised
1 bay leaf
1 ½ - 2 cups water or broth (the lentils should be covered by about 1” of liquid)

Place ingredients into a medium sized saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes and check for doneness. They should be soft but not mushy. Remove from pan and drain.

1. Heat the oil in the same pot if you've cooked your own lentils (less pots to wash after). Sauté the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, red pepper and salt for 4 minutes or so. The vegetables should begin to soften and brown.

2. Stir in chili pepper flakes and drained lentils and heat through (about 4-5 minutes)

3. Add the vinegar, toss well and taste for seasoning. Cover and keep warm until serving.

I served it over Roasted Indian Spiced Salmon and it was perfect.

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