Monday, 28 May 2012

Simple dinner: lentils with bacon and feta cheese

Wondering how to start this post and trying to avoid jumping straight into the recipe (hey, that's just not my style) I decided to read a bit about the star of dish du jour: puy lentils. After a quick browse I came across David Leibovitz's enthusiastic article about these tasty beauties. He describes them as 'the caviar of lentils' and rightly so. They are a bit more expensive then brown or green variety, but, in my opinion, so worth every penny. Nutty and earthy, they keep their shape really well and don't go mushy. Call me crazy, but mushiness is not something I want in my salad. 
So, to cut a long story short, puy lentils are awesome and you have to try them. 
The recipe is slightly adapted from this one. I add a bit of bacon because a) it's tasty and b) it adds an extra dimension to the dish (i.e makes it more delicious :) If you're not that keen on bacon or meat you can definitely skip it!

To make enough for two you'll need:

180 g puy lentils
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3-4 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped 
1-2 pints of vegetable stock
80g of feta cheese
2 handfuls of rocket
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt, pepper
olive oil

Start off by frying bacon for 5 minutes until nice and crispy. 

 Transfer to a plate and set aside. Pop onion and garlic into the same pan and fry until softened. 

Now add lentils and most of the stock to the pan. 

Cook for 30-40 minutes on low heat, stirring a few times, adding a bit more stock until the lentils are soft (but still have a tiny bite to them) and most of the liquid has evaporated. Towards the end, stir in the bacon. Season with pepper and a tiny pinch of salt (or skip it if the bacon is really salty). Serve with rocket leaves, cherry tomatoes, some crumbled feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Let the awesomeness commence.


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