Just after we decided on lentils as our ingredient of the week, Mike politely requested that I cool it on the Indian food. This eliminated a lot of the recipes with lentils that I have in my collection, so I went back on the hunt. I came across this recipe and the allure of both kale and bacon was too much for me to pass up. Plus - since it's actually starting to feel like winter now, this seemed like something that would be hearty without being too heavy.
I've been a little over cumin-ed lately and I'm just in more of an Italian-style mood, so I decided to go with some oregano, thyme and a bay leaf rather than the cumin. I also added a little red wine and changed the lentil/liquid ratio; Other than that, I mostly left it alone.
Serves 8 - 10
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 small onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine
1 - 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
6 cups of chicken broth
2 1/4 cups lentils
3 cups of kale, chopped
Fresh parmesan cheese, shaved for garnish
Cook the bacon over medium heat. When bacon is cooked, remove from pan and place on a paper towel.
Saute onion, carrots and celery 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.
|Does anything smell better than these three things cooking in bacon fat?|
Add red wine and cook until wine has mostly cooked off.
Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, bay leaf and red pepper flakes and cook another 3-4 minutes.
Add broth and lentils. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer about an hour.
Add kale and cooked bacon; simmer another 5 minutes.
Serve garnished with fresh parmesan cheese shavings.
How was it: Really good! The bacon made it nice and smoky and the parmesan cheese gave it a little extra something. Each bite was a little different, depending on what I got in it, which made each bite a nice surprise. One bite was smoky, one bite was a little salty... I really liked it. And I have a feeling that it will just get better as the flavors blend. I'm looking forward to the leftovers (which is good, because there are a LOT of them!)
What would I change: I like my food a little spicy, so next time I might up the ante on the red pepper flakes. Also, considering I'm cooking for two people, one of whom doesn't really love leftovers, I probably should've cut this recipe in half. I had a dinner plan for tomorrow night, but I'm scrapping it. We're eating this again!