Saturday, August 23, 2008

Braised Greens and Lentils

Susan over at The Well-Seasoned Cook is hosting a second helping of My Legume Love Affair. Since I most definitely love legumes, especially lentils, I had to join in. It's still really warm here (87 today), so I was originally thinking salad. But when I saw the beautiful kale and mustard greens at the market, I couldn't help but change my mind, and go with a braised greens and lentils dish.

I got the idea from Michel Richard's Collard Greens and Lentils, posted by Luisa at The Wednesday Chef. I figured since the oven was set only at 250, it wouldn't heat up the kitchen too much.

I replaced the collard greens in the original recipe with 1 bunch each of kale and mustard greens. I also added a minced garlic clove, and drastically reduced the balsamic vinegar down to only 1 teaspoon. And added a ton of black pepper.

You could easily make this vegetarian/vegan by using veggie broth and omitting the bacon. In fact, I'm not sure the bacon added anything essential, so I may just do that next time. Or, you could do a 180, and make it less vegetarian by adding chopped boiled smoked hamhock.

This turned out amazing - chewy lentils, slightly bitter greens, some acidity from the vinegar - in a word, spectacular (although not terribly photogenic!).


[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I'm so very alone in my love of lentils in our house that I can only dream of making something like this. I think I might just make it though, because I have a bunch of kale in the fridge. Thanks.

Vicki said...

Hey JS -
Try it, you won't be disappointed! It gets better the 2nd and 3rd days.

Susan said...

Kale and lentils sounds like a super combination, and it's more photogenic than you know. : )

Thanks for sharing it for MLLA2.

Alexa said...

I love lentils in any way shape or form. This recipe looks earthy and lovely.

Vicki said...

Hi Susan -
I blame my new Italian dish, it could make anything look good!

Hi Alexa -
Definitely earthy, it made me wish that summer would hurry up so I can enjoy more "fall" dishes.

Astra Libris said...

Ooooh, glorious! I love "beans and greens," and your addition of lentils is absolutely scrumptious!

Vicki said...

Hey Astra -
The tiny French lentils are especially good, because they don't get mushy. Thanks for visiting!

suz said...

Any chance of reprinting this recipe? When I click on the link to the recipe I get an error message :(

Vicki said...

Hi Suz -
The link works ok for me..? Anyhow, here's a brief summary:
Oven to 250. Saute onion over medium heat tiltranslucent. Add bacon and cook until softened. Remove excess oil. Add 1/2lb of greens & let cook down. Add another 1/2lb greens and 2c chicken stock. Cover pot and bake 1.5hrs. Add 3/4c lentils, stir, cover and bake 45 minutes. Add s&p and 1t balsamic vinegar.