Lentils, a dried legume loaded with nutrition, come in a variety of forms. The most commonly found are the brown ones but you can also find them in pink and green. Oddly enough, the humble brown ones have the most to offer the human body — 18 grams of protein and boat loads of fiber. They’re super easy to cook too– not requiring an overnight soak like most other dried beans.
This lentil recipe — ideally cooked using brown lentils — can be made vegetarian by substituting a rich vegetable broth instead of chicken. About 5 minutes before they’re fully cooked, you can add all sorts of ingredients like 1 Tablespoon of fresh herbs (try arugula!), 1 cup of chopped, cooked chicken sausage (like Aidell’s), bite-sized pieces of rotisserie chicken and any other leftovers. But you don’t need to add anything at all.
Serve as a side or as a main dish and with a light Syrah, Malbec or Pinot Noir wine.
Simmered Rosemary-Scented Lentils
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped (if you’re in a hurry, used the pre-chopped ones you can buy at the grocery store)
1 clove fresh garlic, minced (use 1 teaspoon jarred if you’d like)
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
2 ½ cups chicken stock (the best commercial brand out there is Kitchen Basics)
2 teaspoons spring rosemary, chopped
1. Heat olive oil in a medium sized saucepan that has a tight fitting lid.
2. Add onions and garlic and saute 2 minutes or until onions begin to soften and become translucent. Stir constantly.
3. Add lentils and sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.
4. Add broth, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Add lid and cook until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.
5. If adding additional ingredients, do so about 5 minutes before lentils are fully cooked to heat them through. If adding herbs, do that at the very end – the fresher, the better.
6. Salt and pepper to taste once dish is complete.