French Lentils with Red Wine and Herbs

Vegetarians often feel left out when it comes to cooking with wine. Well, my fabulous vegetarian ladies do I have a treat for you! I can honestly say this is one of the best lentil based recipes I have ever tried. And this amazing dish (like so many of YOU) is totally versatile – it can be served hot or enjoyed cold as a salad.

The key ingredient here is ‘French Green Lentils’ and I do encourage you to use these rather than just the lentils you have lying around in the cupboard.

The good news is that while they sound flash and hard to find, they are actually quite readily available. In fact, I saw them in my local Woolworths just last week.

One of the pleasures of this dish are the frangant aromas that will fill the house while you cook. As always I did double the amount of wine called for in the recipe – for me 1/4 cup just didn’t bring through the flavour I was looking for.

Finally, a couple of tips: Make sure you don’t over cook it as lentils do have a tendancy to dry out and become quite mushy when over cooked. And be generous with your seasoning. Dried lentils – unlike the canned variety – don’t come pre-salted. For an extra bit of zing try adding a dash of white or red wine vinegar at the end.

Michelle xo

French Lentils with Red Wine and Herbs
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups French green lentils
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 packed cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
  • 4 lightly packed cups mâche or rocket
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Method

In a large saucepan, cover the lentils with water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and simmer over a medium heat until tender (about 30 – 40 minutes). Drain.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep fry pan. Add the red onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for about one minute. Add the lentils and the wine and simmer until the wine has been absorbed (another 5 minutes). Add the spinach and stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted. Stir in the crème fraîche. Add the mâche, parsley and coriander and cook until barely wilted. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm (or cold if that’s the way you fancy it!).

(Original image source: www.recipe.com)