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Herbed Lentils with Bacon

July 7, 2008

The Husband is from Long Island, NY.  In Long Island, The Husband was exposed to many different cuisines than I experienced growing up in Kansas City.  I’m not sure if this is the product of The Husband’s parents and grandparents being Polish (hehe), Irish, Scotish and downright American but he grew up eating crazy things like lentils, split peas, kielbasa, pierogies. What are these things? I’ve never heard of them!  A few years ago, I got a new cookbook for my birthday and asked The Husband to pick a few things he’d like me to make.  He chose Lentil Sausage Soup.  My first reaction was, “Great! Something new!” Then I freaked.  What on earth is a lentil?   Well, thanks to the Commissary, we found lentils.  I pushed making this back for several weeks until one day I had enough.  I hadto make it because I was tired of looking at these ill looking flat beany things in my pantry.  I broke down and made it… and I was hooked.  On lentils, on Ina and French cooking.  I’ll tell you all about the soup later because it’s become a staple in the Cat’s Pajama’s kitchen.

A few months ago, I stumbled upon The Kitchn and occasionally check in to see what they’re doing.  I opened up one day and saw this.  Suddenly, I had the perfect excuse to use those beautiful yellow lentils I found at my favorite spicery in Kansas City. 

All in all, the lentils were delicious.  Simmering the lentils for 20 minutes was not nearly long enough, making this a not soquick and easy dish.  Regardless, they were delish and I can’t wait to make them again.  Next time, I’ll be sure to have some sturdy lettuce and use the lentils as filler for lettuce wraps.  Talk about a refreshing summer dinner!

Herbed Lentils with Bacon
Slightly modified from The Kitchn

2 c lentils
Salt & Pepper to taste
4 slices thick-but bacon, sliced
2 large shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 sprigs fresh rosemary, stemmed & chopped
Handful of fresh sage leaves, taken off stem
5 sprigs fresh thyme (I didn’t have any that looked good, so I used about 1 1/2 T dried)
Large handful parsley, chopped
1/4 c olive oil
2 T Dijon mustard
3 T balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Wash and rinse the lentils.  Place in a saucepan or stockpot, cover with water (with about an inch of water over the top of the lentils) and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Turn back the heat to about medium-low and simmer for about 35 minutes or until tender.  Drain well.

While your lentils are cooking, crisp bacon in a large pan with a little olive oil.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel and set aside.  Add shallots and garlic to the bacon drippings over medium low heat and cook until tender (about 2 minutes).  Add herbs to the shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper with a whisk.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until thick and creamy.  Add shallot and garlic mixture to olive oil and combine.  Stir in drained lentils and bacon. 

Next time, I’ll have some sturdy lettuce and use it as a wrap.  If you try it, let me know.

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