RCP: Green Lentils with Wine-glazed Vegetables

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RCP: Green Lentils with Wine-glazed Vegetables

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:21 am

My carnivorous wife has been out of town, so when I asked my daughter what she wanted for supper tonight her answer was, "something vegetarian". This recipe is from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. She lists it as a side dish, but I threw in some frozen peas, served it over rice, and put a salad on the side for a very satisfying meal. A bottle of Biggoneau Quincy paired nicely.

A couple of thoughts on the recipe: More vegetables would be better. I added the frozen peas right before the final reduction and they added nice visual and textural aspects. It could also use more aggressive spicing. Some hot sauce or chili peppers would be good in it. Madison lists a variation in which steamed or sauteed greens are added in prior to serving, which sounds pretty good to me.

The recipe:

1 1/2 cups French green lentils, sorted and rinsed
Salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
2 t. olive oil
1 onion, cut in 1/2 inch dice
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 celery rib, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 garlic clove, mashed or pressed
1 T. tomato paste
2/3 cup dry red wine
2 t. Dijon mustard
2 T. butter or EVOO
2 t. chopped parsley or tarragon

Put the lentils in a saucepan with 3 cups water, 1 t. salt, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a lively simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but still hold a little texture, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet (Note: I found this required a large skillet.). Add the onion, carrot, and celery, season with 1/2 t. of salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute more, then add the wine. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid is syrupy and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mustard and add the cooked lentils with their broth. Summer until the sauce is mostly reduced, then stir in the butter and season with pepper. Serve with a flourish of freshly chopped parsley.

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Re: RCP: Green Lentils with Wine-glazed Vegetables

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:37 am

Sounds warming! I think this goes into the rotation- I'm thinkin' that a dash of smoked red savina wouldn't hurt.
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Re: RCP: Green Lentils with Wine-glazed Vegetables

Postby Jenise » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:13 am

Mike, not to fool too much with someone else's recipe, but after reading both it and your comments, I have to think part of the fault for underflavoring lies in the initial preparation of the lentils. Since you're not actually vegetarians, cooking the lentils in chicken broth might have given the dish a bit more heft, or, if it must be kept authentically vegan, I would consider adding a carrot and a branch of celery (that could be removed later) to build in a vegetable stock background flavor.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: RCP: Green Lentils with Wine-glazed Vegetables

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:50 am

Jenise wrote:Mike, not to fool too much with someone else's recipe, but after reading both it and your comments, I have to think part of the fault for underflavoring lies in the initial preparation of the lentils. Since you're not actually vegetarians, cooking the lentils in chicken broth might have given the dish a bit more heft, or, if it must be kept authentically vegan, I would consider adding a carrot and a branch of celery (that could be removed later) to build in a vegetable stock background flavor.


Jeniese - The chicken stock idea occurred to me, but I really did want to keep it vegetarian. I think a veg stock wouldn't have hurt but the dish had a pretty good richness to it, even without that. I just thought it needed a little more zing. Next time I make it, I'll try using stock as a comparison.

Stuart - the savina idea would be just the ticket.

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field" - Niels Bohr
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Re: RCP: Green Lentils with Wine-glazed Vegetables

Postby Jenise » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:56 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote:
Jenise wrote:Mike, not to fool too much with someone else's recipe, but after reading both it and your comments, I have to think part of the fault for underflavoring lies in the initial preparation of the lentils. Since you're not actually vegetarians, cooking the lentils in chicken broth might have given the dish a bit more heft, or, if it must be kept authentically vegan, I would consider adding a carrot and a branch of celery (that could be removed later) to build in a vegetable stock background flavor.


Jeniese - The chicken stock idea occurred to me, but I really did want to keep it vegetarian. I think a veg stock wouldn't have hurt but the dish had a pretty good richness to it, even without that. I just thought it needed a little more zing. Next time I make it, I'll try using stock as a comparison.

Stuart - the savina idea would be just the ticket.


Just re-read your comments and realize you said 'spicing' not seasoning. On the first take I read it differently, as if it was just weak or dilute where it needed to be bold. Oops!
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