Braised Lentils With Spinach
Lentils, lentils, I love lentils. I always forget this, rarely prepare them and then I eat them and I am reminded of how delicious they are, not to mention how easy they are to cook. No soaking overnight, like other dried legumes, they don’t usually stick to the pot or get too dried out and you don’t need cilantro to top them off, the one thing that I cannot find in Rome, and I miss it terribly.
The lentils that I used in this recipe are from Casteluccio in Umbria, they are smaller than the lentils that you find in the States, though I think that any lentil would be good prepared this way, no lentil discrimination here.
Just like Southerners eat black eyed peas and collard greens on New Years day, Italians eat lentils on New Years Eve, their round shape resembling coins, the lentils will bring you good luck and fortune in the New Year. Food superstitions are as great as food traditions and are kind of the same thing.
Braised Lentils With Spinach from Epicurious | October 2001 by Lidia Bastianich
- 2 cups brown lentils
- 2 small onions, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 stalk celery, trimmed and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth (I made a vegetable stock)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups finely shredded fresh spinach, thoroughly washed and drained
Pour enough cold water over the lentils, onions, carrots, celery, and bay leaves in a 3-quart saucepan to cover by three fingers.
Season with salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat so the water is at a gentle boil and cook until the lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the lentils, discard the bay leaves, and transfer to a large skillet.
Pour in the chicken stock and olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced enough to coat the lentils, about 3 minutes. Scatter the spinach over the lentils and toss just until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.