Here’s an easy weeknight recipe that I’ve been making regularly for years. It is nice change of pace and I love that it’s packed with protein, fiber, and FLAVOR – a rare combination!
The main ingredient, French green lentils (also known as lentilles du Puy), are an especially tasty and tender type of lentil. They also hold their shape better than other types of lentils, which helps to avoid mushy lentil syndrome (yuck). I think they are kinda pretty to look at, too. The best place to find them is in the bulk foods section of any health food store. I get mine for around $2 per pound at our local co-op.
There are three different parts of preparing this recipe, this first of which is to cook the lentils, carrots, onion, and bay leaf until the lentils are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
While that is cooking, you mix up the vinaigrette dressing. I mix lots of things in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid, and this dressing is no exception!
While the lentils are cooking I also preheat a large skillet and slice the smoked sausage. I suggest using any precooked smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, as long as it isn’t “low fat”.
After the sausage is browned on both sides, you just toss all three parts together (lentils, dressing and sausage), and dinner is done. I usually serve this with a nice green salad and sometimes a loaf of homemade bread if we are really hungry!
Adapted from this Warm Lentil Salad with Sausage from Gourmet Magazine.
French Green Lentils With Smoked Sausage
2 cups French green (de Puy) lentils
2 bay leaves
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/4 thick slices
Bring about 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the carrots, onion, lentils, bay leaf and 1/2 tsp salt. Lower heat to simmer and cook until lentils are just tender about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, thyme, pepper, and the other 1/2 tsp salt. Shake or whisk to make a vinaigrette.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, then brown the sausage slices on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
Drain the water from the lentil mixture, then immediately add to a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.
Using a slotted spoon, add some lentil mixture to each plate, then top with the smoked sausage. Serve with a green salad and fresh bread.