The Mistah and I have been swimming in an ocean of paperwork and bureaucratic red tape. Forms. Inspections. Interviews. It’s enough to leave me drained and uninspired at the end of the day. Which means that my tolerance for fussy dinners is at an all time low. Right now I want uncomplicated. I want comfort.
There are a lot of dishes I could choose that meet that criteria. But from a perspective of economy…of effort, of money, and of return on investment…braised lentils are my clear winner. Brown the bacon, chop and saute the veg, add lentils and liquid, and walk away for an hour.
Now, during that hour I may be trying to untangle some of the red tape or get to the bottom of the seemingly endless stack of forms. But when the timer goes off, I can forget about all of that and sink into a bowl of beautifully braised lentils. It’s like my lifejacket in the ocean of paperwork.
Adapted from Elizabeth Bard, Lunch in Paris
BAH Note: I mostly eat lentils with salad greens but I like Elizabeth’s suggestion of topping them with a dollop of sour cream and serving it with a pan fried or broiled salmon fillet.
- 1 cup french green lentils
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 pound bacon, cut into lardons
Cook the bacon lardons in a dutch oven set over medium heat until well browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked bacon to a small bowl and set aside.
Add the carrot and onions to the bacon drippings in the dutch oven and cook for approximately 10 minutes until the vegetables start to become tender and the onion is translucent. Add the lentils to the dutch oven and stir them to completely coat them in bacon drippings. Add the broth, stir to combine, then partially cover the dutch oven and let the lentils cook on low heat until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, approximately one hour.
Add the bacon to the lentils and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste and finish with a light drizzle of olive oil.