Monday, April 18, 2011

Super Simple Herbed Lentils

This is a supremely easy, basic preparation for lentils; probably one of the earliest ways I learned to cook them (sans the wine, of course;
as a teenaged hippie,
I wasn't that sophisticated). It is also - like many simple dishes - both tasty and satisfying, and needs only a bed of rice or couscous and a salad to impart the virtuous glow that comes of putting "a proper meal" on the table. (The fact that it
takes almost no time to make only makes it better; who's going to argue with that?)

Super Simple Herbed Lentils
~ 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~ 1 large onion, chopped
~ 2 stalks celery, diced
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, tarragon, parsley, basil
~ 1/2 tsp. oregano
~ A few grinds of black pepper
~ 1/2 cup dry white wine
~ 1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
~ 2 bay leaves
~ 1.5 - 2 cups vegetable broth

~ In a largeish saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and saute the onions and celery about two minutes.
~ Add the garlic and dry seasonings, and cook another minute, until fragrant.
~ Raise the heat to high and pour in the wine; combine thoroughly and cook another minute or so, until most of the wine has evaporated.
~ Add the lentils, the bay leaves, and 1.5 cups of the broth.
~ Bring to a boil, then cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the liquid has been almost entirely absorbed. (You can check occasionally; if it seems too dry, add that extra 1/2 cup of broth.)
~ Remove from heat, fish out the bay leaves, and serve hot (or at room temperature) over rice, bulghur, couscous, or your grain of choice.

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