This a simple but also French traditional recipe full of delicious nutrition. Where I come from in France it is usually accompanied with sausages or bacon (le lard!), or what we call "petit sale" which is a piece of salted pork -although I think it is delicious, I hardly cook meat these days and am happier with a vegetarian version of it. I guess one could add vegetarian sausages-homemade or shop bought: there is so much choice out there. It would go well with smoked sausages, Frankfurter type-which I know exist in their vegetarian version and which can be served alongside with a nice dollop of French mustard and some crusty bread. Actually it is also really lovely on its own and mopping the juices with a nice sourdough baguette is just delicious. This dish when cold can also be used as a base for a nice salad. My favourite: on a bed of crispy romaine, drop a couple of tablespoons of the lentils, 2 tablespoons of left over roasted vegetables, some crumbled feta or goat cheese and a simple homemade honey and mustard dressing. It is a very wholesome complete dish.
So how to do this?
serve 4-6 people:
200 grams Puy lentils washed and drained
300 grams new potatoes
10 shallots peeled and left whole
1 large carrot cubed
1 garlic clove peeled and roughly crushed
1 bay leave
1 teaspoon thyme
400 ml stock
1 teaspoon tomato puree
50 ml white wine (optional)
20 grams butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar (wine or cider according to your taste)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (wholegrain or not)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan or a small Dutch oven, add the shallots, the carrots and fry without oil but just a little water.
When the shallots have began to soften, add the olive oil, the lentils and fry gently for a couple of minutes add the tomato puree.
Add the bay leaf, the garlic and the thyme, fry again for a couple of minutes and deglaze with the wine if using, making sure it gets absorbed and its rawness and the alcohol disappear.
Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
Bring to a simmer and cook for another half an hour.
Add the new potatoes
Spoon the mustard and add the butter in 5-10 minutes before the end of the cooking.
Season, add the vinegar before serving and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Nutrition facts: lentils are packed with many vitamins and minerals in particular manganese and vitamin B6. As a pulse it also contain a good amount of proteins and has a good source of healthy carbohydrates.