wine-braised lentils

a few years ago, I bought deborah madison’s vegetarian suppers. one of the first recipes i tried out of the book was simple enough–some green lentils, onion, carrot, celery, red wine and tomato paste all combined into a wonderful braise eaten atop a slice of french baguette. this weekend i had been thinking about that recipe and wanted to make it again, but sadly, that cookbook didn’t make the cut during my move east. i made-do with the ingredients i had and came up with a slight variation for dinner tonight.

wine-braised lentils

3/4 cup brown lentils

3-4 T. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

3-4 stalks celery, cut in half length-wise and chopped

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups red wine of your choice

1 cup water

salt + pepper to taste

2 large handfuls arugula

1 T. butter

french baguette, sliced diagonally

in a small saucepan, bring 3-4 cups of water to a slight boil. add the lentils and cook, reducing to a simmer, for 10 minutes. after the 10 minutes are up, drain the lentils and set aside.

meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions and shallot for 3 or 4 minutes, then add the celery. keep the heat at medium and cook the vegetables until they’re slightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes more. add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper, wine, the drained lentils, and water and simmer for 15-20 minutes. once the liquid has reduced by half, cover the saucepan and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. check to make sure the lentils are tender, then add the arugula, stirring until it wilts. top with 1 T. butter and stir, then check for seasonings.

new cookbook

Around two weeks ago, I heard about a new cookbook that grabbed my attention from the minute I read the title. Being recently reminded of the size of my cookbook collection when I had to move it in several boxes to my new apartment last week, I thought it best to do a bit of research before I bought Recipes From an Italian Summer.

However, this week I’m on vacation with my family, and taking a break from the kitchen has me thinking about what I’ll make when I return to Pittsburgh. At the bookstore yesterday, I came across the book, and decided to go for it. After flipping through the pages, I don’t think I’ll mind the extra weight in my bag.