Monday, February 14, 2011

Lentils with Red Wine Vegetables

Photo courtesy of Urban Durham Realty blog
Last weekend my good friend and one of my college roommates came to visit. Obviously a cause for celebration, we made the most of the weekend in true Durham-loving fashion. Although she lived in Durham for four years in college, a lot has changed in the past three and a half years since she left. I couldn't wait to show off how cool Durham has become. So in addition to spending some quality time together, we got to explore some of  what I consider to be the coolest parts of Durham. To start the weekend off with a bang, we went to dinner at Revolution, which I consider to be one of the best new restaurants in Durham. Saturday we enjoyed the free tasting offered at Wine Authorities and then cheered on the Duke Blue Devils with friends and more good wine. Sunday we had a delicious breakfast at Foster's, stretched it out at Patanjali's Place with yoga flow, and then topped that off with lunch at Dame's Chicken and Waffles, Gavin's favorite for Southern delights. Unfortunately that afternoon I had to drop her off at the airport, making the weekend seem incredibly short. But I'm pretty sure she left feeling relaxed and full, and hopefully a little impressed with all that Durham has to offer. For one weekend, we managed to take in several of Durham's best spots.
In addition to all of the "site-seeing," eating and drinking, we also spent some time talking about cooking. Considering we both love to cook, this was an inevitable conversation for the two of us. It's been an unusually cold winter in both NC and Texas, our respective homes, leading our conversation toward heartier comfort foods and the delights of root vegetables. For anyone who doesn't love to cook, this may sound like an odd conversation to have, but trust me, we got pretty excited about delicious soups and hearty roasted vegetables. One dish in particular made us both intrigued and since I loved it and she wanted to try it, I promised to share it here. I wrote a couple weeks ago about lentils and how delicious they are. This recipe is no exception. Combined with root vegetables in red wine and finished off with Dijon mustard, this is a satisfying and healthy dish. I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light, a great resource for healthy recipes year round.

Lentils with Red Wine Vegetables (serves 6)

  • 3 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cup dried lentils (I used French lentils)
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celeriac (celery root), peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch Brussels sprouts, stems removed and halved if large
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon, divided
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
In a medium saucepan, combine stock/water, lentils, 1/2 tsp salt and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until lentils are tender.
While the lentils simmer, heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onions for about 5 minutes. Add celeriac, carrots, parsnips and sweet potato, seasoned with 1/2 tsp salt, or so. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Stir in Brussels sprouts, 1/2 tbsp tarragon, tomato paste and garlic. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Pour in red wine, scraping any bits of the bottom of the pan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are fork tender.
When lentils are done, add them to the vegetables with mustard and black pepper.
Stir to combine and cook for another 2 minutes to let flavors blend. Remove from heat and stir in remaining tarragon.

For a printable recipe click here

1 comment:

  1. I made this, and it is the most delicious thing ever.

    I used (no salt) chicken stock instead of veggie stock, because that's what I had, and I skipped the brussels because my local market did not have those. I will say I've never cooked with celery root before and it is delightful.

    I also didn't have bay leaves or tarragon so I used some dried basil instead of the bay leaf and Indian curry spices at the end -- a bit of cumin, cardamom, and garam masala, as well as quite a bit of red pepper flakes, and the lentils & veggies are delightfully flavorful with a nice warm kick.

    Served with some pork tenderloin.

    Yay Leann and Lauren!