lentils

ISSUE #3: Lentils

Mealtime at Eleven Northshore is all about BBQ. Steak, fresh caught fish or chicken, the trick is finding complementary side dishes that we can all appreciate, while a seasonal vegetable salad is key anytime of the year, lately I have been adding my favorite superfood, lentils.

Lentils are a great addition to any diet as they offer significant amounts of folate and magnesium, provide the body with loads of energy and can help to stabilize blood sugar. Plus, lentils taste great (easily absorbing added flavors) and are a gluten-free food, allowing them to fit into just about everyone’s dietary needs.
This warm kale and lentil salad is a quick staple to enhance any barbeque or toss in some chicken to make it a hearty meal on its own.

INGREDIENTS

1 Tbs. olive oil
4 carrots, peeled & diced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more, to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1 large bunch Tuscan kale, thinly sliced
1 cup brown lentils, picked over & rinsed
2 fresh thyme sprigs
4 large garlic cloves
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. sherry vinegar
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrots and onion, 1/4 tsp. of the salt and several grindings of pepper. Sauté until the onion is very soft and lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Scrape the contents of the pan into a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan.

In the same pan over high heat, combine the lentils, thyme, garlic, broth, 1/2 tsp. of the salt and 1/4 tsp. of pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender but firm to the bite, 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain the lentils in a colander, and remove and discard the thyme and garlic. Return the lentils to the saucepan, and stir in the kale mixture, vinegar and the remaining 1/2 tsp. of salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer the lentil mixture to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

SUGGESTED PAIRING: Browne Family Vineyards Tribute Red Wine – The fruit-forward structure of the wine complements the chicken stock-based richness pf this hearty dish (without overwhelming it)!