January 12, 2012

Lentils, Bacon and Kale

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.

Lentils, Bacon and Kale
Adapted from this site, which was adapted from here
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.

Mmm... bacon

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!

1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious! It''s on the list.....