Italian Style Lentils du Puy

by Jeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches

When I cook with lentils, I often go the Indian route cooking them into submission with curry and coconut milk. For dal, I usually use red lentils because they are quick to cook and their mushy texture is comforting and familiar. Lentils du puy (or French green lentils) are quite a different beast. Instead of turning soft, these lentils stay firm without any loss in texture. While they are ideal for salads, the weather was overcast for most of the weekend so I decided to simmer up some French lentils into an Italian-style stew.

This vegan dish is simple to prepare and robust in terms of flavour. The onions simmer and brown providing a deep earthy flavour. I used a whole jalapeno for this dish and it turned out to be quite spicy. I was actually shocked since most jalapenos I've used recently have been rather mild, so use less if you like less of a bite. Or if you've got a mild pepper, just add extra chili flakes or cayenne if you want more heat. For ease, I used a great bottled tomato & basil sauce from Italy but you can use a homemade sauce if you have some handy. The sauce starts off looking soupy but cooks down into a savory rich sauce. Any leftovers can be heated up and served over pasta or rice.

Italian Style Lentils du Puy
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, sliced thinly into half moons
1 jalapeno, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 cup french lentils du puy, sorted & rinsed
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups water or stock
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in onions and saute until soft and starting to brown, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in jalapeno, garlic, lentils and oregano and cook for a few minutes, stirring things about. Pour in tomato sauce and water and let simmer uncovered over med-low heat for 40 minutes or so, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Season with salt & pepper. Serve in deep bowls with buttered bread.

Jan Halvarson


Brittany said...

I would LOVE to make this for a family coming over for dinner in a few nights, but am curious as to how many this recipe serves? I'm really excited to make it! Thanks!

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

I am a huge fan of the Puy lentils. Not always easy to find though I find. I'll be making this recipe asap. Thanks for the inspiration.

kickpleat said...

Brittany, it makes 4 servings. If you are making this for a group, it would be quite easy to double or triple the recipe.

Joanne said...

Oh wow! That butter on the bread looks yummy! Mmm, bread! These lentils are my type of dish, they look delicious! I've never seen or tasted Lentils du Puy before but I'm sure I could use generic lentils with good results. I'm not turning on the stove or oven today due to a heatwave, but I will bookmark for later.

Admin said...

I am so pleased that I learn something new from your blog eveyrtime I visit. I can't wait to try out this Italian dish, as I am indeed Italian but sadly can't cook a lick without some instructions....THANK YOU.

kickpleat said...

Bijoux, you won't get the same results using just regular brown lentils. Lentils du Puy (or black Beluga lentils) keep their firm texture - even after an hour of cooking. These babies stay firm! If you can't find these lentils, it will still taste good but the texture won't be the same.