Warm French Lentils

It’s been a very productive Saturday even though it began a little on the rough side. I’ve been struggling with getting over a cold for the last few weeks and it morphed into an intense sinus headache when I woke up this morning. I ended up popping a bunch of new medicine so that CK and I could stil go see Skyfall at the Cinema de Lux in Dedham. Have you been there yet? I heart that place so much. I love being able to order wine and snacks from the comfort of their big, plush, purple seats. Daniel Craig and his big blue eyes being fifty feet tall also briefly seemed to help out with my migraine, but even so I still came home and took a nap.

When I woke up I felt great so I ran around cleaning the house, made cookie dough, put together some chicken stock, and even washed the cat. Dexter is still perfecting his messed up fur but I feel pretty accomplished. To end the day I decided to make our favorite meal and now we’re settling in to catch-up on our TiVo backlog and maybe play a little World of Warcraft. In the meantime though I thought you might like to take a peek at those lentils I keep raving about. Please excuse the iPhone images but otherwise I seriously adore this recipe and love how boldly flavored it tastes. I’m sure some people freak out when they notice the tablespoon of salt you’re supposed to stir in but it really isn’t too much. You can always trust Ina Garten. One last thing — don’t skip using the turnip or the cloves. They truly make the dish spectacular!

Warm French Lentils

Originally published by Ina Garten

2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup good olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 carrots, scrubbed and 1/2-inch-diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup French green Le Puy lentils
1 whole onion, peeled and stuck with 6 whole cloves
1 white turnip, cut in half
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan, add the leek and carrots, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the lentils, 4 cups of water, the onion with the cloves, and the turnip in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are almost tender. Remove and discard the onion and turnip and drain the lentils. Place them in a medium bowl with the leek and carrots, and add the butter.

Meanwhile, whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, the mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add to the lentils, stir well, and allow the lentils to cool until just warm, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve. The longer the lentils sit, the more salt and pepper you’ll want to add.