merlot_food_pairings

Hearty Country Lentils with Red Wine

Lentils are a great dried legume to have in the pantry. High in protein and fiber, they are also neutral in flavor making them a great base for many recipes. While they are often found in soups, lentils make a great meal on their own. Some people choose to buy red wine online as it saves time and money.

This recipe turns a simple lentil dish into a protein rich meal. Serve with crusty, warm rolls and a salad for a meal all by themselves. For a little variety, serve them instead of mashed or baked potatoes with a seasoned grilled beefsteak or marinated chicken breast. This dish is also great served cold the following day for an easy lunch or accompaniment to a salad. Serves 4 to 6 depending on meal served.

Hearty Country Lentils with Red Wine

Ingredients:
1 cups dried lentils, see below
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 medium onion, diced (about 2/3 cup)
4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped fine
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups fat-free chicken broth, low sodium style
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp turmeric

Procedure:
Measure 1 cup of dried lentils. Pour onto a large plate or baking pan and remove any pieces of dirt, pebbles or dark colored lentils. Set aside.
In a rondeau or Dutch oven, or other wide pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add in the carrots, celery and onions. Cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the dry red wine and chicken broth.
Add in the bay leaf, dried marjoram, black pepper, dry mustard powder and turmeric. Stir to combine everything.
Increase heat to medium high while stirring occasionally. When the lentil mixture begins to boil, reduce to low and place the lid on the pan.
Let the lentils cook slowly for about 45 minutes. Remove the lid and give the lentils a stir. Continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, and cook until tender but not mushy.
Remove from the heat and stir the lentils. A little bit of liquid will still be in the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper if desired, and serve.

Variations:

This recipe may be made without any red wine. Simply remove the 2 cups of red wine and add in 4 cups of defatted chicken broth (bringing the liquid total to 4 cups).
Try substituting a favorite herb or seasoning in place of the marjoram and turmeric. Other flavorings that work well are dried oregano, thyme, coriander to taste, paprika or cumin.