Lentils make a nice “bed” for some lovely roasted chicken. Or a piece of grilled fish or pork chop. Think lentils, instead of rice, pasta or potatoes. And lentils offer some terrific vitamins and minerals, too. Oh yes, did I mention they are also delicious? This goes together relatively quickly, particularly if you have cooked or canned lentils on hand. I used it as a base for one of those supermarket broasted chickens. The saltiness of the chicken was a perfect foil for the herb-y, creaminess of the lentils.
Here’s how: Sauté the onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic and bay leaf in the oil, over medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Stir in the wine. Don’t worry if you add a bit more. The wine helps keep the vegetables moist and soften. Covering the pan will keep the moisture in. Stir in the spices, herbs and orange; simmer for 3 minutes. Gently stir in the lentils, but be careful not to mush them up. The object is to just heat the lentils through. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the last bit of olive oil. Cover and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remember, always taste and correct if necessary. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the additional olive oil. You just want it to warm, not cook. Serve immediately as a side dish or as a bed for some roasted chicken, pork or fish.
Lentils with Onion, Bell Peppers, Garlic and Herbs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely diced onion
- 1/3 cup finely diced bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely diced celery
- 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (about 5 large cloves)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup dry white wine (add more if the mixture is too dry)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon piri-piri flakes
- 3 cups cooked lentils
- 1/3 cup diced navel orange sections
- 1 handful fresh spinach leaves, stems removed
- 2-3 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro (or 2 teaspoons culantro)
- 1-2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Sauté the onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic and bay leaf over medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Stir in the wine; continue to cook until the vegetables soften and become translucent, about 4 minutes. Covering the pan will keep the mixture moist. Stir in the spices and herbs; simmer for 3 minutes. Gently stir in the lentils; you don’t want to mush them up. Simmer for 3 minutes or until the lentils are heated through. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the last bit of olive oil; cover and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Stir, taste and correct the seasoning. Add the additional olive oil; serve immediately.
NOTE: This mixture is delicious as is, but works wonders with your palate when used as a bed for roast chicken, pork or fish.
Lentils with Onion, Bell Peppers, Garlic and Herbs Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019. all rights reserved.